April 21, 2019

#Jallikattu: Taming the Bull or Defying The Law ?

Animal rights activists’ predilection for Jallikattu depicts their parochial approach towards animal welfare and protection. Is cruelty not done to horses during horse racing? The hyper activism goes missing when it comes to countless slaughter of goats on Bakrid. Does fundamentalism trump activism? Yes, it does especially when it’s Islamic Fundamentalism. Organizations like PETA cannot afford a Charlie Hebdo done to themselves. Forget about “Animal Rights Activism”, PETA cannot afford a cartoon demonizing animal sacrifice done on Bakrid. I am against any kind of cruelty, if any, done to bulls in Jallikattu. There should be specific guidelines to safeguard animals against harm and abuse. Why the blanket ban on the sport? Why only Hindu traditions are being targeted? Why the height of Dahi Handi pyramid is limited? Why not stop self-torture during Muharram? Why Cracker less Diwali? Why no ban on crackers on New Year’s Eve? Why urge people for Water less Holi when gallons are wasted for IPL (Indian Premier League) Matches? Why our traditional identities are being attacked by judicial overreach and organizations like PETA?

The massive protests at Marina Beach send a very strong message. Do not tinker with identities under garb of law? The ban on Jallikattu is an act of undermining Tamil identity. Goats are sacrificed for taste buds’ sake. There is no cry from animal activists. Why outrage when beef was banned? This cherry picking on animal rights and welfare is setting a dangerous precedent. Of late, stray dogs were killed in Kerala, suddenly “Canine Lovers” pain knew no bounds. Why same pain is conspicuous by absence when cows are slaughtered for beef and meat? The animal rights euphoria goes out of the window. What matters is the flavor of the beef in the kitchen. The government does not get to decide what’s on my plate but I would selectively outrage on selective animals. This Outrage Industry needs to be busted.

The fight for animal rights will be futile unless we have a strong regulation and implementation on Slaughterhouses. No healthy animal should be fed to slaughterhouses. Organizations like PETA and bodies like Animal Welfare Board should focus their energies on upkeep and maintenance of animal centers. In fact sports like Jallikattu can be channelized to fund these animal centers where animals are taken care of. For any sport where performance animals are involved, checks and balances can be introduced to ensure zero abuse. Banning is not the solution. Its time PETA is exposed for its dubious nature. Ancient traditions like Jallikattu should be preserved and continued else it will fade into oblivion. The ban on sport wound mean extinction of native bull species as raising a bull would not make economic sense.

Political parties, as usual, have started fishing in troubled waters. Stalin and Sasikala are demanding a ban on PETA. It’s highly irresponsible of them to seek a ban on PETA. The duplicity and dubious nature of PETA needs to be laid bare open. Being associated with PETA is in vogue. The aura of animal rights activism of PETA is nothing but falsehood. Unless there are instances of irregularities, PETA cannot be banned. Demanding an ordinance to revoke the ban on Jallikattu is a failed exercise. Modi government has had enough Ordinances in the last two and half years. Ordinances should not be used to bypass a Supreme Court order. It would set a wrong precedent. Why not a review petition armed with facts to counter the ban? The eminent lawyer from Tamil Nadu, P Chidambaram should be brought in to fight for glory of the state. Or is he busy redrafting “Ishrat Files” ?

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Sharat loves to write about technology, social issues and current affairs with a dash of humour.
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