More than two thousand Bengaluru youngsters turned up at the Town Hall to support Tamil Nadu in its fight against the Jallikattu ban on Thursday. The Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Road was filled with protesters wearing black clothes in a show of solidarity.
"We have come together to show our support. Unlike politicians and film stars who have a hidden agenda behind attending such gatherings, we have no benefit whatsoever. Our only aim is to save our tradition from dying," said Rekha OP, an IT professional, originally from Coimbatore.
She said she came down to the Town Hall to fight for Tamil's cultural rights. "It is our home and we don't want a foreign body to decide what happens in our house," she adds.
Many youngsters echoed similar sentiments.
"Jallikattu is one of the last straws that Tamilians are holding on to. If you pull away that traditional sport from us, what do we have to show our children in future? Leave the cultural aspect, many families depend on this fight because they rent out their well-bred bulls in return for money. Many families depend on the sport for monetary purpose. This in turn encourages families to breed healthier bulls," explains Vijay Shekar, a city-based businessman, whose roots are from Madurai.
Shouting slogans against PETA whilst holding banners and posters, youngsters remained within the campus of Town Hall without disrupting the traffic.
"This is one of the first mass protests against the ban in Bengaluru. We had expected about 1000-1500 supporters at the venue, however, about 2000 people came. It is an encouragement. Apart from men, we are glad to see many women also participating. While we are unable to go to Tamil Nadu and stand with people there to show our support, we wanted to send out the message that we are supporting them from Namma Bengaluru. This will surely lead to an impact," said Prabhu SR and Kumaresh T, organisers of the gathering.
The organisers said they will arrange another mass protest in Ulsoor between 10 am and 12 pm on Sunday, if there is no concrete action from the authorities.