Jallikattu, Animal Rights and Ordinance. The Denouement, or Development Awaited?
This is the fifth and concluding part of the Jallikattu and Animal Rights Series, wherein we will sum up our observations on the Jallikattu protests, the ordinance ..
A summary of the Series thus far
We have understood that Jallikattu is part of a very old agrarian tradition. It is atleast as old as the Indus Valley Civilization. The sport was meant to be a trial to find out the bravest and most capable youths in the community. While the tradition is to treat the Bull with love and respect, we do see evidence of abuse and cruelty. The Students protesting against the ban on Jallikattu also acknowledged the need for monitoring the activity to ensure that bulls are treated fairly.
Native Cattle Breeds give Healthy A2 Milk
We also understood the importance of Jallikattu in ensuring availability of A2 milk, which is healthier than A1 milk. The milk from cattle with foreign genes is much more likely to of A1 nature. There are more questions than answers on the need for importing sperm of foreign breeds. Countries like Brazil and the US are happily milking cattle with Bos Indicus genes in them. Brazil is exporting Cattle breeds (with Indian genes) to various nations.
Peaceful Protests lead to Unruly Unrest
The peaceful protests of the students from Tamil Nadu, put pressure on the governments in the State and at the Centre. The State (including the Centre) worked out a mechanism to move ahead on the issue. With the President’s Consent, the TN Government promulgated an Ordinance for conducting Jallikattu .
Fringe Elements infiltrate Protests
A few observers had been wondering over the very smooth and peaceful nature of the protests. Students were very peaceful at various places in Tamil Nadu and also managed the heavy traffic/crowds near the Marina admirably, eliciting appreciation from even the police. All these led to some observers ‘doubting the composition’ of the protesters.
The worst fears of the observers and the administration came true. In addition to the Centre and the State assuring the protesters about the ordinance, the police also tried convincing the students. The police was able to clear the protesters in those pockets where the protests remained purely or primarily student driven. But it became increasingly evident that anti-social forces were also at work. No sympathy surely, for seeking Tamil Nadu’s secession from India, shouting anti-India and anti- government slogans, nor disrespect for the flag.
Thuggery by Law Enforcers?
Critics complain that the unrest and the way it was handled could have been handled better. A few videos of policemen behaving erratically has raised eyebrows and put the government on the back-foot. We sometimes use a thorn to remove another, but it is hard to understand thuggery by law enforcers.
Sleeper Cells and Sympathizers of Jihadists, Tamil Eelam and Paid Converts
But the big worry remains as there are indications that much of the violent unrest was triggered by elements which felt shackled. The Government’s measures to stem foreign money could have raised hackles. The kind of money which funds terrorist or missionary activities (paid conversions).
Section 144 at Marina
The Administration has also slapped Section 144 on the Marina area till Feb 12, 2017 to prevent misuse by miscreants.
Sparks from Jallikattu protests warming up Kambala votaries
Congress’ Siddaramaiah has jumped into the Jallikattu bandwagaon now. He wishes Karnataka to conduct the Kambala race (with buffaloes), which may cascade into more such demands across the country… Cock-fights et al. The Supreme Court had banned most of these sports, along with Jallikattu. We can almost feel animal welfare activists bristling.
Animal Welfare Groups
We need to see the merit in/wisdom behind of traditional activities. Cool Chilli also wishes that the animals be treated with respect. Bulls may choose a humane death in the abattoir than that men under the garb of Jallikattu, twist/bite tails, prod nostrils and anuses with rods, rub chilli powder into orifices, force-feed alcohol.
Speaking of abattoirs, we need to have more humane methods of killing animals. Hope we will have some regulations there with the support of Animal Activists. PETA and the Animal Welfare Board of India are yet to make a strong case for this. Needless to add, they may also need public support towards this.
The Honourable Supreme Court’s Response to the TN events
As this write-up goes to post, the Supreme Court has refused to stay the new Ordinance of the TN Government but has questioned the TN government on both the law and order situation as well as the protests.
Stakeholders need to be meticulous in considering all angles.
Man/Woman is capable of the highest levels of nobility as some personages have amply proved. He/she can also stoop to the lowest levels of cruelty. Man is a victim of pre-judice. He may believe his ideas and actions are the best possible….. that he is above reproach and the others need to fall in line. Man can also be humble enough to realize that he need not know everything. He can consult, take inputs. Especially from those who would be most impacted by his actions, which in this context means poor farmers and hapless animals too!
In that Dawn may Indians of all denominations and Mankind awake!
We at NewsTikka.com believe in the old Indian saying, ‘Vaasudhaiva Kutumbakam‘, meaning ‘The World Is One Family’ (including the animate and the inanimate). Hence we respect and encourage all doctrines and actions that help us move towards this ‘inclusivism’.
The traditions and lives of the adivasis of mainland India, the forest dwellers in the Amazon forests and the very ancient primitive humans of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are at stake as are other vulnerable communities. We need to correct the belief that ‘I/we know all there is to know and you/they know little.’
The Europeans destroyed the precious ancient records of the Mayan Civilization in misguided religious fervour. The ISIS (and the Taliban before it) has damaged various precious legacies of human history. The Indian sub-continent too may have seen similar unfortunate deeds in its ancient past. We need to discourage attempts to erase ancient surviving customs whether by force, money or guile (unless those practices be generally unacceptable, like Sati).
Acknowledgments and Related Reading
- The History of Jallikattu and its relevance in the past.
- (a) and (b) The View of the Votaries of Jallikattu (VoJ) Students’ Opinion
- PETA /AWBI & relevance. Other issues to be taken up from animal rights perspective
- Healthy Native (Indian) A2 milk of local breeds Vs ‘Poisonous’ A1 milk from foreign cows.