Chennai, Jan 21, 2017: The mood of the youth gathered in large numbers at the Marina beach here is still combative demanding the holding of Jallikattu and banning the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“The state and central government’s decision to bring out an ordinance to allow Jallikattu is just a stop-gap arrangement. There needs to be a permanent solution,” C. Ashok, an employee of a multi-national company, told IANS.
He and his colleagues — male and female — spent the Friday night at Marina demanding Jallikattu.
The continued ban on Jallikattu was the tipping point for the massive protest by the youth as Tamil Nadu and Tamilians have been at the receiving end on several issues like the denial of Cauvery river water by Karnataka and the central government’s inaction, non-stop attack on the Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Lankan Navy, the general political situation in the state and other issues, protestors told IANS.
“The night was chilly but we made bonfires of the wastepaper and other items to beat the cold,” Ashok said.
The main centre of protest on the Marina is opposite the Vivekananda House where large number of protestors were gathered and were addressed by several speakers.
The speakers spoke about farming, Tamil pride, culture and also against cola drinks, fairness cream, multi-national companies that are now into farm products in India.
“Organic farming should not cost much. But the retail prices of such products are very high and the people are being cheated,” thundered one speaker.
Attempts to bring in an effigy to be burnt as a mark of protest was stopped upfront by other protestors as it would negate the hard protest of the past five days.
There were sand art depicting a raging bull and a man hugging its hump.
Street play groups staged their plays and there was a drummer wearing a contraption on his head with burning fire signifying that Jallikattu is the burning problem in the state.
Milk, tea, pongal and idlis were distributed to the protestors and others free of cost and anybody demanding money for these were chased out.
A few metres away from the main protest gathering, several groups shouted slogans for Jallikattu and against colas and politicians.
What is evident is that the youth has decided to take up the protest on their own — Nammuku Namme — and for better change and progress of the state.
The protestors kept out celebrities and politicians, an act that was like a bolt from the blue for them.
The protestors’ ire at some media outlets was also surprising.
“I am actually happy with the protest. For the past two years I have been talking about such a movement and it is finally happening. Though I am a politician and politicians have been kept out by the protestors, it is a good beginning,” former Union Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss told IANS.
The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned Jallikattu, saying that bulls cannot be used as performing animals, including bullock-cart races.
Since then, people have been urging the central government to take steps to allow the sport.
The central government on Friday evening gave its nod to the Tamil Nadu government’s ordinance to enable holding of Jallikattu.