Every year, there has been this debate on Jallikattu. In one corner you have PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal welfare activists and on the other end you have the state of Tamil Nadu. Both are calling for bans. PETA on Jallikattu while TN wants a ban on PETA.

 

PETA has been known for ruffling a lot of feathers earlier, primarily because of its stand against animal abuse and torture or using animals for the purpose of entertainment. They are a firm believer of Article 51A(g) of The Constitution of India which states that every Indian citizen has a responsibility “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures”.

 

Also read :Centuries-old practice no justification: SC on Jallikattu

 

Since the organisation has been active in bringing about the ban on Jallikattu in the state, people have made PETA  the villain in their sport story. Tamil Nadu has argued that Jallikattu holds tremendous cultural and religious significance for the people but animal right activists deny this vehemently and say that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, must supersede any such practice. Also according to statistics from PETA, from 2010 to 2014, media outlets reported that there were some 1,100 human injuries and 17 deaths caused by jallikattu-style events, including the death of a child, so they have all the more reasons to support the ban. 

 

Furthermore, a research conducted by PETA's investigators in 2013 found that the bulls were being disoriented, deliberately. The bulls' tails were allegedly bitten and twisted; stabbed, punched and dragged on the ground.

 

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To this, pro-Jallikattu activists argue that videos and propaganda like this stems from their foreign origins. PETA is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. Farmers whose cattle are used in the sport argue that the PETA people fail to see how they treat their bulls like family and children and would never think of hurting the gentle, docile creatures.

 

There are various other reasons Tamilians are calling for the banning of PETA from their state and India. Apart from the origin issue, the NGO is being identified as part of an American conspiracy to exterminate native breeds in Indian cattle, since PETA has shot down the argument of Jallikattu helping the propagation of native breeds of the bull. In fact, DMK leader Stalin has said PETA is against Tamil culture.

 

Also read: Stalin, OPS, Ramadoss: Netas hitch fortunes to jallikattu bandwagon

 

PETA and foreign forces want to destroy our native breeds because native cows produce A2 milk which is therapeutic and rich in life-enriching nutrients, and “A1 milk gives you cancer”. To this PETA has said that the cross-breeding programmes and the need to increase milk production has caused the dying out of the breeds.

 

Pro-Jallikattu activists hold that by banning Jallikattu, PETA is betraying and tampering with the ancestral practices and the old way of life which must be preserved at all costs. Already, due to globalisation the richness of Indian culture is being diluted, pure and untouched village life is being forced to conform to urban and modern ideas. Western culture is robbing Indian culture of its religious and spiritual connect and so organisations like PETA, who call for revoking a 2500-year-old tradition should be banned.

 

 

Anyone who sides with PETA with regards to Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu is considered anti-national and is less of a Tamil (#makkalmovement).  Take actress Trisha Krishnan for example, who was targeted for not supporting Jallikattu and siding with PETA.

 

Also read: Trisha gives befitting reply to Jallikattu supporters

 

In short, it is the culture card which is being played against PETA. PETA=Americans=Western influence and West is bad for Indian culture. Indians take pride in their diverse and multi-lingual culture. What makes India unique is its impressive traditions and different religious beliefs living in unity.  It is the responsibility of all citizens to preserve their own ethnicity. Because of the West (America, Britain) India has already lost touch with its roots and has become more like the foreigners so any affront to Indian culture should be stopped in its tracks. This and more is being spouted by the so-called torchbearers of Indian and in this case Tamilian culture.

 

Also read: Jallikattu Ordinance: Can Tamil Nadu beat Central law, Supreme Court?

 

Now, if the SC agrees to this Ordinance or buckles under mass pressure then PETA has said it may take the legal route or continue its awareness campaign against holding Jallikattu.