Jallikattu stalemate: Protesters refuse to back down as PM makes no promise on ordinance

“Won’t move, won’t move, till there is jallikattu,” cried protesters at Marina beach.
Jallikattu stalemate: Protesters refuse to back down as PM makes no promise on ordinance
Jallikattu stalemate: Protesters refuse to back down as PM makes no promise on ordinance
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Jallikattu protesters have promised to continue their protest following TN CM O Panneerselvam’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where the latter remained mum on the ordinance and stated that the matter was still sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

The statement came on Thursday, disappointing the protesters who have been turning up in large numbers at Marina beach since Tuesday to protest the Supreme Court ban on the bull-taming sport. 

Although let down and angered by the stalemate, protesters seem undeterred and geared to carry on with the agitation.

25-year-old Soundan, an employee at an MNC, says that Tamilians are the real decision-makers here and not Modi. “We will do what we want to do and continue the protests,” he said.

Chandramohan, member of activist group Arappor Iyakkam, insisted that the protests will continue with the same intensity. “The central government can bring in a correction to Section 22 of PCA Act even if it is sub-judice. They are just testing our patience and it is only going to strengthen our resolve and make us more potent,” he argued.

The defiance towards Modi’s statement was widespread as calls for continuing the protest were heard in various places on loudspeakers. A protester was heard shouting, “Won't move, won't move, won't move till there is jallikattu." 

Another call was directed at the college students, who form a majority of the protesting crowds. “I am telling students, don't leave the area till we get an answer,” said a protester, leading a group.

“We don’t care what the PM says. We will be here till jallikattu happens in Tamil Nadu,” says Santhosh, a 25-year-old driver. However, Ritika, a CA student, says that while they would continue the demonstration until the result was favourable, they were also awaiting OPS’ next move.  

While the protest has been largely peaceful until now, one demonstrator who identified himself as a Tamilian warned of violence saying, “PM has to act fast or there will be violence.”

Vignesh, who belongs to 'Smile Settai', a YouTube channel that has helped rally the youth toward the jallikattu cause said, “The state government can pass a bill in assembly to revoke the ban on jallikattu. It can also still pressure the Centre to pass an emergency ordinance.” He also argued that if the Tamil Nadu government had intensified their pressure on the Centre earlier, jallikattu could have been held during Pongal.

The protesters had on Wednesday stated that they would give up their protest only if there was a “fruitful meeting” between OPS and Modi. A few representatives had met the Chief Minister on Wednesday evening, presenting their demands to him.

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