Jallikattu – An Economic Perspective

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Somil Rastogi, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Jallikattu is a bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu which is banned by the Supreme Court. The sport is not only a folk sport but it has spawned an economy of its own in the rural parts of the state and its ban carries many economic implications.

In the rural parts of Tamil Nadu, bull rearing in itself is a business for many poor farmers. They buy bull calf for Rs 15000 and raise him to make him strong. Feeding and maintaining him nearly cost Rs 300 per day. The calf matures in two to three years and further farmer make him to perform in Jallikattu through which he earns or he could even sell the bull and raise around 2-3 Lakhs rupees.Now after the ban by the Supreme court these poor farmers were the first to get disrupted. The bull which used to sell for around 2-3 Lakhs rupees could not raise more than 20-30 thousand. On the similar lines the whole market which used to exist to support bull rearing will get affected. In many districts Jallikattu used to be an economic activity which could range upto 50 Lakhs of revenue. These events use to draw thousands of visitors. They generate lot of consumption around them which is a significant chunk for poor living in rural districts.

In a longer run, the ban can have an affect in the milk economy as well. There use to a thriving business involved with semen of healthy bulls of Tamil Nadu. Now there wont be any incentive for the farmers rear the bulls and bear the cost. This might cause dependency on the foreign breeds of bulls which have criticism of less cost effective solution in long run since the foreign breeds are more vulnerable to viruses and diseases and requires more maintenance.

In a larger economic perspective Jallikattu supports many rural economy of Tamil Nadu. In future, there might need for native breeds of bulls for their semen. If native breeds are preserved, as Jallikattu does, it can lead to new economic future of dairy business.




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