Jallikattu and Poll Promises. BJP and Congress. – (compiled from various sources)
The ongoing protests by the students at various places in Tamil Nadu including the Chennai Marina brings to fore some views. Some valid, some not. One of the perceptions of the supporters is that the BJP and the RSS wishes to paint the entire country with the same cultural brush. The state is still smarting at the efforts to impose Hindi on Tamil Nadu. TN students believe that the BJP and RSS similarly wish to dilute or remove Jallikattu, an age old tradition down South.
However the facts point otherwise since The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) seems to have supported Jallikattu and stood by the people of Tamilnadu. It is interesting to note the Election manifestos for the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in 2016 wherein the Congress had clearly proposed a ban on Jallikattu, whereas, the BJP Manifesto supports Jallikattu.
Below please find the sequence of events.
Jallikattu’s ban history – Dates and events
How it Started
1. A single judge issued the frst ever ban on Jallikattu. The case was actually for seeking permission for rekla (bullock cart) race in Ramanathapuram district but The Judge, expanded the scope of the case and banned Jallikattu. This happened on 29th March, 2006 in the Madurai Bench of The Madras High Court.
2. In 2007, The High Court gave a judgement overruling the single judge and allowed Jallikattu with norms.
The AWBI and PETA
3. PETA did not file the case against Jallikattu in The Honourable Supreme Court. It was ‘The Animal Welfare Board of India’ – AWBI, which is head quartered in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai and is an advisory board to the government on animal rights. This happened in July 2007 and they managed to get a stay.
4. PETA India (arm of the US based People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) was started in 2000 and they protested against this event from 2004 and they worked closely with AWBI to stop the event.
5. On 11th Jan 2008, The Supreme Court (SC) gave a judgement banning Jallikattu.
Ban revoked by SC but Congress Govt. again bans it
6. State government files a petition and Supreme court allows Jallikattu on 13th Jan 2008.
7. The state government (DMK govt) passed a ‘Jallikattu Regulation Act No 27 -2009’ and thereafter Jallikattu happened for 3 years till 2010 with monitoring by AWBI.
9. So there could be a perception that the AWBI filed back in SC and it was banned again. The fact surprise us. Even after SC allowed, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notification in 2011 that Jallikattu is banned.
10. In 2011, the Congress (2004-2014) was the ruling party at the Centre and the two respective Congress Central Ministers were Jairam Ramesh (2009-2011) and Jayanthi Natarajan(2011-2013). DMK had been in alliance with Congress during that time (2006-2011)
The AIADMK and the BJP
11. From May 2011 AIADMK has been ruling Tamil Nadu till now and Jallikattu continued for 3 years with the help of state law –‘Jallikattu Regulation Act No 27 -2009’ until SC issued a ban against the event on May 2014. The SC slashed the state law as null and void (After 5 years)
13. On 7th May 2014, SC bans Jallikattu. On 26th May 2014 Modi becomes PM. ( Jallikattu is banned a week before the election result).
14. On 8th Jan, 2016, Ministry of Environment and Forests (BJP Minister -Prakash Javdekar) issued a notification to end the ban, but AWBI filed a petition on Jan11, 2016 and got stay on Jan12, 2016
15. After the stay, hearings happened in Aug’16 and Dec’16 and next hearing/judgement may be anytime soon.
As this goes to post, one reads that Mr Modi is sympathetic to the Jallikattu practice and wishes to await the Supreme Court hearing.