A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court recently reserved for judgment a batch of petitions seeking to strike down a Tamil Nadu law which protects Jallikattu by claiming that the bull-taming sport is a cultural heritage of the State and is protected under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.

 

About ‘Jallikattu’

  • Jallikattu (or sallikkattu) is also known as eru thazhuvuthal and mañcuvirattu.
  • The bull-taming sport is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts — known as the Jallikattu belt.
  • Jallikattu is celebrated in the second week of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
  • A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
  • It is a traditional sport in which contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
  • Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls.
  • Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Barugur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.