Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the Centre to consider promulgating an ordinance in order to enable the conduct of Jallikattu this year.
With Pongal just days away, Panneerselvam wrote, â€śGiven that the Pongal festival which holds great importance to the people of Tamil Nadu is less than a week away and Jallikattu is an integral part of the Pongal festivities, considering the urgency of the issue, the Government of India should consider promulgating an Ordinance removing the legal impediments enabling the conduct of Jallikattu during Pongal, 2017.
The Supreme Court had in May 2014 banned the bull-taming sport of Jallikattu holding that that bulls cannot be used as performing animals.
Stating that jallikattu is â€śinextricably linked to rural, agrarian customs and has religious significance,â€ť Panneerselvam noted that the ban on the sport, which is a part of Pongal festivities, has caused â€świdespread resentment and general disappointment among the people of Tamil Nadu.â€ť
The BJP-led government had in January 2016 issued a notification lifting the ban on jallikattu. It was, however, stayed by the Supreme Court, which questioned the necessity for suck kind of festival.
Panneerselvam reminded Modi of the memorandum presented to him by late CM Jayalalithaa on June 2016, which offered suggestions to pave the way for the conduct of the sport. This included denotifying bulls as a performing animal from the Environment and Forest Ministryâ€™s 2011 notification. The memorandum submitted also suggested amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by introducing a new clause to specifically exempt jallikattu.
Panneerselvamâ€™s statement also comes days after AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala hit out at DMK working president MK Stalin for for misrepresenting facts and insulting the good work carried out by Jayalalithaa on the issue of jallikattu.