Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Is fight for jallikattu a social movement?

Agitation for restoring jallikattu in TamilNadu seems to be seamlessly transforming itself from a political issue to a social movement. What was considered a fringe play has metamorphosed into a mainstream movement with full-blown social and cultural implications.

Even those who were initially against jallikattu are now becoming its protagonists. Zaka Jacob, anchor in CNN Channel, and Radhakrishnan of Frontline magazine come to mind immediately. Kris Srikkanth is aggressively batting for it. Kamal Hassan with his provocative oneliner, "Why not ban Biryani also", has been supporting jallikattu from the beginning.

The evolving consensus now appears to be that jallikattu, an ancient rural sport, is not, and certainly need not be, inclusive of violence against the bull. The theme of the sport is to hold the bull's hump as long as possible. It is a test of physical stamina, understanding of bull's mind and one's own resilience.

Many may wonder how this has caught the imagination of many IT professionals in Chennai, the city that is not home to jallikattu. The reason is straightforward : Most IT professionals in Chennai hail from rural and semi-urban areas and their nostalgic emotions have been activated. 

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