As the third day of pro-jallikattu protests draws to a close, many actors have come out in support of revoking the ban. The latest to express solidarity with the protesters was music composer AR Rahman, who announced on Twitter that he would be fasting on Friday to “support the spirit of Tamil Nadu”.
I'm fasting tomorrow to support the spirit of— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) January 19, 2017
Rahman’s comments come even as protesters have vowed to continue their agitation, after the meeting between TN CM O Paneerselvam and PM Modi reached a stalemate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, actor Simbu had appealed to protesters to not give up their fight as he gave suggestions to the youth of Tamil Nadu on how to mobilise. “"Let's show them who we are. None of us will move from our protest spots till they revoke the ban,” he said.
In a debate on Puthiya Thalaimurai, Kollywood director Ameer hit out at PETA as well as the BJP government at the Centre.
Quoting Central Minister Pon Radhakrishnan on how the animal rights organization might use the visuals of jallikattu being conducted without the Supreme Court's permission to bring about a permanent ban, Ameer asked, “Why is a Minister, who has the votes of so many thousand people, indulging in fear mongering about an organisation that has no standing?"
Criticism of PETA has been widespread in Kollywood. Actor Vijay posted a video on Tuesday, saying, “World-over, laws were created to protect the culture and rights of people, not to take it away from them.” He also took a dig at PETA saying that he would be happy if the organization which was responsible for the ban was “sent out” (anuPETA).
Jayam Ravi too, took to social media to say, “I don't have to reiterate that I'm also in support, because I'm a Tamilian as well. If you want to understand a language, you have to understand its culture. I don't understand why PETA doesn't get this.” He also expressed his gratitude to Tamilians who were in support of jallikattu.
Director and producer AR Murugadoss chose to express his support for jallikattu and the students who formed a majority of the protesting crowds, through a video clip from his film Ramanaa.
In the clip, a policeman talks about the power students hold in Tamil Nadu. He is seen telling another policeman, “If you hit the ruling party men, the ruling party will hit back. If you hit opposition party men, the opposition party will hit back. But if you hit students, all of Tamil Nadu will hit back.” Murugadoss tweeted this with the hashtag #studentspower.
Earlier on Wednesday, actor Vivekh too posted a video calling the protests in Tamil Nadu a “revolution”. “For the first time, without any affiliation to a political party, language, group, people have come forward to uphold jallikattu and Tamil culture,” he said.
Karthik Subbaraj has been tweeting about the issue since Tuesday. Referring to the Alanganallur protest, he said that while it was a “great start”, everyone, including media, celebs and politicians should talk about it so that the momentum doesn’t fade away.
Later, he also pointed out the few news channels covering the Alanganallur protest and said the silence from the ones that didn’t was “sick and sad”. “It's tough to wake up someone who pretends to be asleep. But we shall wake you soon,” he said.
PETA’s argument against the sport has been that it is cruel to the bulls. However, contesting this claim, GV Prakash said on Wednesday that jallikattu was in fact not animal cruelty and that the bulls were actually a part of their family.
Nayanthara, who is hailed as Lady Superstar, issued a press statement supporting jallikattu as well. Appreciating young people for joining in the protest, she said this was "unprecedented history."
On Tuesday, Suriya had expressed his support for the cause. He shared a report about the protests against the jallikattu ban which happened in Alanganallur.
Actor Dhanush tweeted on the same day, saying he was in favour of continuing jallikattu, and that it was about Tamil culture. His statement came after some photos of him wearing a PETA shirt started doing the rounds on social media.
Sivakarthikeyan also tweeted his support for jallikattu as early as January 9 and said that he is among the crores of Tamil people who wish to rescue jallikattu, which is their culture and tradition.
Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth have also been vocal about their support for jallikattu.