The word ‘masculinity’ is inherently involved in the whole idea behind Jallikattu.

 

The winner in Jallikattu is the person who manages to tame the bull by hanging onto its hump for the longest. In some places in the olden times, the winner of the sport won the title of the bravest man in the village and by this act proved to be the most eligible hand in marriage. Similarly the semen of the bull ‘who could not be tamed’ would produce excellent livestock (practice which is still in vogue). In some places the participants tamed the bull for pride and honour of their household or village or to settle a feud.

 

 

Pro-Jallikattu supporters in Kollywood say the bull taming sport needs to be allowed in Tamil Nadu. To quote actor Simbu, “Jallikattu is the cultural symbol of our state and it is our pride too. We have been practising this art of valour for years..”

 

Also read: Jallikattu Ban: Are Kollywood actors scared of backlash from Tamilians?

 

Words like courage, valour, pride essentially associated with machismo. The outlook in the sport is similar to that of a warrior, who will defend their pride even if it means death. In films, also it has been the same. According to Tamil filmmaker K Hariharan. "Jallikattu has never occupied the central plot in a film's subject. It was always there to symbolise something, a village scene, the macho-ness of the hero, etc."

 

 

Here comes in the question of Tamil masculinity and valour. So if the state does not get to hold Jallikattu, then is it a great insult to the Tamil pride and machismo? This attitude of taming things, having things under their control is what is being propagated in the name of the need to uphold culture, tradition and pride. What is the bravery or valour in trapping an agitated animal, subjecting it to torture, all because one man can claim to be the strongest of them all?

 

 

The arguments of culture and tradition looks very hollow in the face of things. Tamil culture came to light at the time of the Chennai floods and at the time of the Vardah Cyclone. The time when a whole state raised itself to help its own out of the disaster, waiting on no superstar or politician to come to their rescue. That is the Tamizh pride, that shows Tamil tradition and culture. And the Indian culture never calls for cruelty, rather it is one of compassion, mercy, tolerance and of assimilation. Which culture are we talking about here?

 

 

 

 

There is nothing wrong in protesting and in fact, as the Indian constitution says, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It is this very body of laws and acts built for the progress and betterment of India, that celebrities like Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Suriya, Rajinikanth, Vishwanathan Anand, Ashwin, Jyothika and those supporting Jallikattu are seeking to rewrite.

 

Also read: Five films that showed Jallikattu extensively

 

The Supreme Court had declared Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009 as constitutionally void, and that it was violating the  Article 254(1) of the Constitution. The Court had also ruled that cruelty is inherent in these events, as bulls are not anatomically suited for such races. Making bulls participate forced the animal to endure pain and suffering, and so it was deemed by the Court that such races are not permitted by law. Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution states, one has to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and have compassion for living creatures.

 

How is the Supreme Court wrong in making this decision? Are you following this as an Indian?

 

 

Kollywood stars may bring in cultural importance of the bull, but it is equally important to keep in mind that the constitution and SC is there for upholding the judicial rights of Indians. We have always said our celebrities do not speak out on matters of importance, here is one of them. Yes, they are speaking against the SC and establishment but not against the cruelty being suffered by the bulls. Animal cruelty is not subjective, dear celebrities.

 

 

 

 

Holding a sport for the sake of entertainment and tradition goes against the values of the Constitution. These celebrities should learn to be Indians first and Tamil later. If you, as celebrities also side with the people in this misinformed campaign of Tamil pride then you, being role models, also come into question. If tradition has been following these cruel practices then it is time you rise and call for a change in such outdated human traditions.