DMK holds protests across Tamil Nadu, demands Jallikattu

RSTV Bureau
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File photo pf Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. (PTI)

A day after the Supreme Court refused to pass a judgement on Jallikattu before Pongal, DMK held a state-wide agitation demanding that Jallikattu be held this year. He blamed the Centre and state governments for not taking timely steps to conduct the event.

In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, DMK alleged that he had no time to meet AIADMK MPs who wanted to discuss about holding the banned bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu during Pongal.

“Whom does Modi meet. Those known to him, including those from the cinema world, and immediately gives appointment to them. He has met actors including Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Rajinikanth and Gautami. I am not criticising them, for they have their own pride. But, for Modi who allots time for these actors, can’t he give time to AIADMK MPs to discuss an issue of heritage importance of Tamils,” said DMK working president and Opposition Leader MK Stalin.

He pressed the Centre to immediately promulgate an ordinance to hold the sport and that AIADMK should also press the Centre for it. Stalin warned that “Tamils will not forgive” the two if such an urgent step was not taken.

Hitting out at the ruling AIADMK, he said Chief Minister O Panneerslevam should have left to Delhi from Hyderabad yesterday, where he had gone for talks over the Krishna water-sharing with his Andhra counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, after the Supreme Court declined to pass an order on Jallikattu on Thursday.

The chief minister should have immediately met Modi and discussed Jallikattu, Stalin said.

Reiterating his demand for an ordinance on the matter, he said it was not new for the Centre to do so, as the present ruling dispensation at the Centre itself had brought 22 such ones, including for the NDA’s controversial Land Acquisition Act.

“It is not too late, still a day is left for Pongal. Centre can promulgate an ordinance for the conduct of jallikattu… I humbly and rightfully ask on behalf of Tamils, bring and ordinance, else the people will not forgive Centre and state government,” he said.

Since the first government post independence, Centre has so far promulgated over 600 ordinances on various issues, he added.

Stalin urged that the Centre should “dismiss” Animal Welfare Board of India for its strident stand against Jallikattu and said it should be replaced by a committee including a member from Tamil Nadu.

The Supreme Court had earlier questioned the Centre for its January 2016 notification allowing use of bulls in events like Jallikattu, saying that its 2014 verdict banning the use of the animals cannot be “negated”.

Supporting the tradition, the Centre had said that it could ensure that bulls are not tortured or subjected to alcohol before the sport.

Earlier, the apex court had observed that the country cannot “import Roman gladiator-type sport” as it is against the culture of compassion towards animals.

The court in its 2014 judgement had said that bulls could not be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country, and had banned their use across the country. The apex court had also dismissed the review petition against its 2014 verdict.

(With inputs from PTI)