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Jallikattu issues assuming large proportions (Relevant for GS Mains Paper I and Prelims)

Action taken by State Government
The Tamil Nadu government went for an ordinance to facilitate the conduct of jallikattu once the surge in popular sentiment in favour of the traditional bull-taming sport gathered momentum. The State amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, seeks to exempt jallikattu from the purview of the law.

Action taken by Union Government
With the  implacable mass movement demanding a legal solution to overcome the judicial ban on jallikattu on the one side, and related litigation pending in the Supreme Court on the other, there was little that the Union government could have done on its own. For the Centre to bring in an amendment would have incurred the wrath of the Supreme Court. Instead, the Centre granted its consent to the State Governor promulgating the ordinance. 

SC’s view
The Supreme Court has declared that jallikattu is inherently cruel and contrary to the objectives of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA). Unless it recognises culture and tradition as valid grounds to permit events involving bulls, the exemption given to jallikattu may be invalidated. 

View of PETA
PETA and other animal rights organisations have filed more petitions in Supreme court for protection of animal rights in response to the passage of ordinance exempting Jallikattu.

Present situation in Tamil Nadu
Meanwhile, the public uprising has gone beyond jallikattu, attained a critical mass as an assertion of Tamil identity and culture and metamorphosed into a protest against mainstream political parties.

Way forward
It is time the protesters took a step back and let the legislative and judicial institutions determine the future of jallikattu. It is also time for them to reassess the cruelty and the risks to life posed by the sport, and link any demand to its reintroduction with the strictest of regulations. Two people were tragically killed and over 120 injured in the jallikattu at Pudukottai recently. A culture that legitimises such mindless and unnecessary death is not Tamil culture. In fact, it is no culture at all.

What is PETA ?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an American animal rights organization. It claims that it has 3 million members and supporters (5 million in total) and is the largest animal rights group in the world.
Its slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way."
PETA India, based in Mumbai, was launched in January 2000. PETA India operates under the same principle.
    



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