A bull charges through a crow of Indian participants and bystanders during Jallikattu, an annual bull fighting ritual, on the outskirts of Madurai on January 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR
A bull charges through a crow of Indian participants and bystanders during Jallikattu, an annual bull fighting ritual, on the outskirts of Madurai on January 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR

The issue of Jallikattu ban has become a raging topic in Tamil Nadu at the moment. Thousand of supporter of Jallikattu, a bull taming festival where the animals are forced to drink alcohol and chilli powder is rubbed into their eyes, have rallied in parts of southern India to demand the government to lift the ban on the traditional event.

In 2014, the Supreme Court banned the conduct the ‘Jallikattu’ citing violations of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.

It is really strange that how a sport, deemed brutal and violation of animal rights by the activists has brought the people of Tamil Nadu together. There have been various celebrities like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Suriya, Dhanush and many others from Kollywood have voiced their opinion in support of the bull taming sport and are pushing people to not give up on their tradition and culture.

Here is a list of Kollywood stars and what they had to say about the ancient Tamil Nadu sport.

Kalmal Haasan

If you want a ban on Jallikattu, let’s also ban biryani. I’m a big fan of Jallikattu. I’m probably one of few actors who’ve played Jallikattu. I am a proud Tamilian, this is our culture. Jallikattu must not be confused with bull-fighting in Spain. In Spain, people hurt the animal and it would die, but in Tamil Nadu bulls are treated like “god, as part of the family”.

Rajinikanth

“Bring in whatever rules but Jallikattu must be held to keep up the traditions of our Tamil culture.”

Dhanush

Proud of each and every தமிழன் who came together to support #Jallikattu and our தமிழ் கலாச்சாரம். வெற்றி நிச்சயம். #unitedforourculture.

Actor Jayam Ravi

“I felt immense pride to be a part of a revolutionary movement last night at Marina. The atmosphere was electrifying and inspiring.”

Vijay

In a video message released on Tuesday, January 17, Vijay said that he appreciated the youths, who have voluntarily come forward to support the movement without any political affiliation. “A government is created to preserve and safeguard people’s culture and rights, not to take them away. I would be happy if the arrested people are released and PETA is sent back home,” he said.


Suriya Sivakumar

PETA may have won the case in the court of the law, but it has lost in the people’s court. “Their claim that Jallikattu is inimical to bulls is full of lies. They talk about cruelty to bulls but they don’t realise that by banning Jallikattu, they are aiding in the extinction of rare cattle breed. Our bull numbers have come down from 200 to just 30. Several of our bulls are getting extinct. Introduce a few regulations, but do not abolish the sport. We need to protect our native breed and the animals are part of our identity and culture. I hope the Supreme Court doesn’t ban this sport,” in a statement.

Nayanthara
#JusticeforJallikattu Let us all raise our voice and the slogan ‘ WE WANT JALLIKATTU ‘ heard all through the country.

Simbu

“Jallikattu is the cultural symbol of our state and it is our pride, too. It is utterly disgraceful when some groups and individuals manage to misguide and misinform the authorities of the governance and judiciary on this art that is considered as a cultural symbol of our state.”

Neighbouring industry has also comes in support of ‘Jallikattu’.

Mahesh Babu

#Jallikattu is the spirit of Tamil Nadu – bold and fearless. Proud to see such a statement of unity among Tamilians for something that they truly believe in.

Friday, 20 January, will mark a daylong silent peaceful protest by the influential actors’ association, Nadigar Sangam. All the top stars like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Ajith, Suriya, Nayanthara, Trisha and music maestro A.R. Rahman are expected to attend.

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