Jallikattu fans are upset because Superstar Rajinikanth’s daughter, Soundarya, has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), one of the groups behind the ban on the sport.
And they want Rajinikanth to publicly declare his opinion on the sport and the ban.
Jallikattu is a hotly contested sport in Tamil Nadu, which involves the forcible, and often brutal, “taming” of bulls. After a long campaign by animal rights activists, the Supreme Court banned Jallikattu in May 2014.
However, despite the ban, Jallikattu events continued to take place in the state. In January this year, the Supreme Court issued a notification stating that the ban must be upheld.
The question now, though, is why is Rajinikanth answerable to what his daughter chooses to do? It isn’t as if Soundarya is a kindergartner caught scribbling on the walls of the classroom. She’s an adult who is capable of making her own decisions.
It’s also possible for two people in the same family to have divergent opinions about a certain issue. Even if Rajinikanth says tomorrow that Jallikattu and kamara kattu mittai are equally dear to his heart, why can’t Soundarya have a different stance? Maybe she likes Nutties better. Why not?
When Soundarya took to Twitter to confirm her impending divorce from her husband, too, there were many asking her to reconsider because she was Thalaivar’s daughter. Must Soundarya stay in a marriage she clearly doesn’t want to be in just because she’s Rajinikanth’s daughter and the Superstar’s fans can’t take his agony? Assumed agony, since Rajnikanth is yet to speak on the subject.
Women are seen as either their father’s property or their husband’s – they are seldom considered to have views and opinions of their own, even if they might belong to famous, outspoken families.
Soundarya is not a "vaai illa jeevi" (voiceless animal). She can speak for herself and if Rajinikanth fans can’t handle that, it’s just too much kodumai, Saravannan.