AR Rahman, Other Celebs Lend Voice to Pro-Jallikattu Protests
As the third day of the pro-Jallikattu protests on Chennai’s Marina beach draws to a close, many celebrities have come out in support of revoking the ban. The latest to express solidarity with the protesters was iconic music director AR Rahman, who announced on Twitter that he would be fasting on Friday to “support the spirit of Tamilnadu (sic)”.
Rahman’s comments come even as protesters have vowed to continue their agitation, after the meeting between TN CM O Paneerselvam and PM Modi on Thursday ended in a stalemate.
Earlier in the week, Tamil film actor Simbu had appealed to protesters to not give up their fight as he gave suggestions to the youth of Tamil Nadu on how to mobilise. “"Let's show them who we are. None of us will move from our protest spots till they revoke the ban,” he said.
Another Kollywood actor, Ameer, waded into the controversy, referred to a comment by Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. The politician had said how animal rights organisations might use visuals of Jallikattu being conducted without the Supreme Court's permission to bring about a permanent ban. In reply, Ameer asked, “Why is a minister, who has won the votes of thousands of people, indulging in fear-mongering over an organisation that has no standing?"
Criticism of PETA has been widespread in Kollywood, as the Tamil film industry is known. Actor Vijay posted a video on Tuesday, saying, “World-over, laws were created to protect the culture and rights of people, not to take them away.” He also took a dig at PETA saying that he would be happy if the organisation which was responsible for the ban was “sent out”.
Earlier on Wednesday, actor Vivekh too posted a video calling the protests in Tamil Nadu a “revolution”. “For the first time, without any affiliation to a political party, language, group, people have come forward to support Jallikattu and Tamil culture,” he said.
Director Karthik Subbaraj has been tweeting about the issue since Tuesday. Referring to the initial protests, he had said that they were a “great start”, adding that everyone, including the media, celebs and politicians, should talk about them so that the momentum doesn’t fade away.
PETA’s argument against the sport has been that it is cruel to the bulls. However, contesting this claim, GV Prakash, another Tamil film industry figure, said on Wednesday that Jallikattu was in fact not animal cruelty and that the bulls were actually a part of people’s families.
Nayanthara, who is known as ‘the Lady Superstar’, issued a press statement supporting Jallikattu as well. Appreciating young people for joining in the protest, she said this was "unprecedented history".
On Tuesday, Suriya had expressed his support for the cause. He shared a report about the protests against the jallikattu ban which happened in Alanganallur.
Actor Dhanush tweeted on the same day, saying he was in favour of continuing jallikattu, and that it was about Tamil culture. His statement came after some photos of him wearing a PETA shirt started doing the rounds on social media.