Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Monday urged the central government to promulgate an ordinance enabling the conduct of Jallikattu or bull taming sport during the ensuing Pongal festival.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, text of which was released to the media here, Panneerselvam said Jallikattu is an integral part of Pongal festivities and the festival holds great importance for the people of Tamil Nadu.
“Considering the urgency, the Government of India should consider promulgating an Ordinance removing the legal impediments enabling the conduct of Jallikattu during Pongal, 2017,” he wrote to the Prime Minister.
In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the bull’s hump for a stipulated distance or for a minimum of three jumps made by the bull.
The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned the conduct of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.
The court also held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu events or for bullock cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.
“Considering the groundswell of sentiment and support for the conduct of Jallikattu all over Tamil Nadu, this is an issue on which the Government of India must act with maximum despatch,” Panneerselvam’s letter read.
The festival of Pongal is celebrated to thank the Sun, rain and farm animals. It would be celebrated on January 14.