Tamil Nadu is witnessing a groundswell of discontent following the ban of its centuries-old tradition of bull-taming or Jallikattu. Thousands of people from across the state have taken to the street, demanding the government to lift the ban on the sports by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2014.
Animal rights groups like PETA have welcomed the decision of the SC, terming Jallikattu as an extreme cruel sport. However, people of the state took the ban of over 2000-year-old traditional sports as a threat to the culture and the tradition of the state.
Interestingly, some have compared Jallikattu to Spanish bullfighting, but in reality, they are as different as chalk and cheese. Here are five major differences between Jallikattu and Spanish bullfighting:
1) Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport. It is also a way to identify the best breed for mating. Meanwhile, Spanish bullfighting is purely for entertainment.
2) Jallikattu contestants hold on to the bull's hump and try to get money or valuables tied to the horns of the bull. They are not allowed to hurt or cause injury to the bull, but Spanish bullfighters are free to inflict injuries and provoke the bulls.
3) Bulls used in Jallikattu are brought up with utmost care. They are not supposed to be hurt, but in Spanish bullfighting, a man on horseback armed with a lance inflicts injuries and tortures the bull.
4) Jallikattu contestants are not even allowed to catch the bull by the horns, forget using weapons. However, participants in Spanish bullfighting stab the bull with weapons, thus weakening the animal by blood-letting.
5) Bulls used in Jallikattu are not killed, though some do die in the melee. Bullfighting in Spain ends only after the bull is killed with a sword.