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.
- 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.
Q1) What is the significance of Pongal?
Pongal is an important Hindu festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu. The four-day-long festival celebrates the harvesting of crops like sugarcane, rice and turmeric; it falls around the same time as Lohri (celebrated in North India) and Makar Sankranti (celebrated in Western India) in mid-January each year. It is essentially a thanksgiving function wherein farmers thank nature, the Sun God and the farm animals for helping in growing the year's produce while other people thank the farmers for producing the crops.
Source: The Hindu