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March 2, 2010

77 injured in Jallikattu bullfight in Tamil Nadu

     Thirumanur (Tamil Nadu): Around 77 people were injured in the traditional bullfight 'Jallikattu' that was organised at Thirumanur village in Ariyalur district. Jallikattu is India 's version of running of the bulls that takes place every year in the Spanish city of Pamplona . In Jallikattu, well fed and groomed bulls, often pepped up with considerable doses of toddy or country liquor known as arrack are brought to the main street in the village. These bulls are then coaxed to dash, while a selected lot of men chase it and try to cow down the bulls by gripping their horns with all might. Unlike the Spanish version of the sport, the aim is not to kill the bulls but to dominate and tame them, and pluck away bundles of money or other treats tied to their specially sharpened horns. According to locals, it is an individual as well collective test of skills. Murugasan, a participant said, "It is Tamilian heritage. Jallikattu is a sport, one that reflects bravery and also an individual's skills in taming the bull. Indeed, it is a risky venture." The Supreme Court had earlier in 2007 banned Jallikattu by contending it was cruel and not in keeping with what it described as the country's non-violent traditions. But the apex court lifted the ban on the game in 2008 saying the popular sport should be held under strict government vigil. This annual festival attracts scores of tourists, who come here to enjoy the test of skills. Tamilians regard Jallikattu as their heritage and the farmers thanks-giving ceremony known as Masi Maha to the livestock. More than 500 bulls from Tanjore, Pudukkottai, Madurai , Thiruchanapalli, Karur and Perambalur took part in the Jallikattu of Ariyalur this year.
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