Green Signal for Jallikattu by TN Govt Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The Tamil Nadu state government has allowed Jallikattu to be held in the state.
The Tamil Nadu state government has allowed Jallikattu to be held in the state adhering to a set of standard operating procedures to keep the spread of COVID-19 in check.
Guidelines Given by the State Government:
- Not more than 300 bull tamers shall be allowed for an event.
- Not more than 150 tamers shall be allowed in Yeruthu Vidum events.
- Only 50 percent of the total capacity of spectators shall be allowed to assemble in open arenas.
- All spectators should undergo thermal scanning.
- Bull owners and tamers should undergo COVID-19 test. A negative certificate for COVID-19 is mandatory for participants.
- Face masks are compulsory for everyone.
The Supreme Court (SC) in 2014 banned Jallikattu after a plea was filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). However, following uproar from the people, the state government insisted that sport was a part of Tamil culture and identity and the ban was lifted in January 2017.
Jallikattu is a sport played during the Pongal festival, primarily in Tamil Nadu, where a bull is let loose among a crowd of people and participants are supposed to take control of the bull by holding its hump for as long as they can.
Over the years, the festival has faced major criticism from several animal welfare groups, with an accusation of animal brutality.
A few have criticised this move by the state government which comes ahead of Tamil Nadu going to Assembly polls in early 2021. The coronavirus cases have been decreasing in the state and fears that such large gatherings would cause the spread of the virus is imminent.
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