Embrace the bull!!!

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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.

Jayesh R, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management,IIT Kharagpur

Glancing at the newspaper, one can find the front page has at least one news article based on ‘Jallikattu’ (also called Yeru thazhuvuthal meaning embracing the bull), daily in the last week. Some animal activists want a ban on the bull taming tradition while on the other hand crores of people protest against the ban. Few international media compare ‘Jallikattu’ to the bullfighting in Spain.

Firstly, the bullfighting in Spain is entirely different from ‘Jallikattu’. In a bullfight, the matador kills the bull by luring it whereas in ‘Jallikattu’ the person tries to snatch the prize amount which is tied to the horns of the bull, a practice from which it has derived its name, ‘Sallikattu’ (pronounced as Jallikattu in modern era) meaning a bag of coins. In a bullfight, weapons are used to make the bull bleed.The bull becomes weak and vulnerable to be killed by the matador. On the contrary, contestants are not allowed to use any weaponsin Jallikattu. Above all, the intention of bullfight is entertainment whereas the motive of Jallikattu is to select the best bull for breeding.

People who vouch for ‘Jallikattu’ ban, claim it as animal cruelty. Statistics show that it is only the humans who are injured in the sport. How does animal cruelty come into picture here? The argument by the animal activists state that the bull is tortured to make it run. There needs to be an understanding that bull is an animal which was used to till the land in the past. So bull naturally has the agility. Also, the fact is accepted that there are places where bulls are agitated to run faster. These illegal practices can be ruled out by bringing in proper regulations.

India is a major exporter of dairy products, primary constituent of which is milk. The high milk production is due to strong and highly productive breed of cows and bulls in India. The bulls do not get work (since bulls are not used to till the land) the entire year. If ‘Jallikattu’ is banned, there is no provision for a farmer to showcase the fertility of his bull (By showing the fertility of his bull in ‘Jallikattu’, farmer earns by mating of high fertile bulls). There will not be any incentive to grow high fertile bulls. Due to this the next generation cattle become weak thereby affecting the dairy industry and economy of India. Also, Indiawill need to import ‘jersey cow’ variants or go for methods such as artificial insemination (patents with foreign nations)which in turn leads to it being under the control of foreign nations.

Also, the organization which is against ‘Jallikattu’, PETA is funded by foreign countries. The so called animal activists are not against the meat industry in which millions of animals are mauled each day. This gives a clear picture as to why ‘PETA’ wants to ban ‘Jallikattu’.

So why embarrass the sport, embrace the bull!!!


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