Jallikattu is all set for a grand return in Tamil Nadu today with an ordinance issued for conducting the bull taming sport after a three-year-long ban but protesters in Marina beach and elsewhere tonight refused to end their agitation unless a “permanent” solution is found.
After getting Governor Vidyasagar Rao’s assent for the ordinance, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam flew to Madurai for inaugurating the event tomorrow morning in Alanganallur, the main centre where the traditional sport has been held for long. Ministers will preside over similar events elsewhere mainly in southern and western parts of the state.
Even after the Centre and the state government worked feverishly on the ordinance to negate a Supreme Court order, the agitators, mainly comprising youth and students in the “Marina uprising” and elsewhere, have rejected the ordinance route as a “temporary solution”.
Instead, on the fifth day of their peaceful protests, they declared that they will not disperse until the government finds a “permanent solution” that will not put any obstacles in the future conduct of the sport cherished by Tamil culture for centuries.
In Madurai, District Collector Veeraraghav Rao visited the spot in Alanganallur and told reporters that what people and youth of Tamil Nadu want will take place. He said around 350 bulls will participate in the flagship event.
“Even if the chief minister comes, it is doubtful if jallikattu will be held with the present mood among the protesters,” said an organiser.
Earlier in Chennai, Panneerselvam announced the approval given by the Governor for the ordinance and said he will launch jallikattu in Alanganallur at 10 am.
In a bid to assuage apprehensions of the agitators, he aaid a draft Bill to replace the ordinance and amend the PCA Act paving the way for holding jallikattu without any hindrance will be introduced and adopted in the next session of the state Assembly starting January 23.
Moving swiftly, the Centre last night cleared the ordinance paving the way for Tamil Nadu government to promulgate it in an effort to end the protests. Rao, who is Governor of Maharashtra, holds Tamil Nadu as additional charge and reached Chennai in the evening to give his approval.
Jallikattu remained banned following a Supreme Court order in May 2014.
“I urge the youths, students and the general public to make the jallikattu events across Tamil Nadu a grand success by participating in large numbers,” said the chief minister, who also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support.
Panneerselvam said the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 by Tamil Nadu was received last night..
(With PTI Inputs)