Thousands of Jallikattu lovers camp on Chennai’s Marina Beach, want ban lifted

4Chennai: What started as an isolated protest by a group of youngsters at the Marina Beach, yesterday, has grown into a massive show of strength in favour of lifting the ban on bull-taming sport Jallikkattu.
Thousands of youngsters have embraced the route of peaceful agitation to press the government to end the ban. Linking to Tamil pride, the protesters are adamant to not allow ‘censure on their culture’.
It all started with forwarding of a WhatsApp message and posts of social media and before long people from all walks of life, especially the youth started to converge at the Marina. The crowd swelled all through the night and by morning thousands of committed youngsters joined the protests.
While the movement has no single leader, the protest has gained support of a Tamil celebrities.
The state government has held talks with agitators and assured its commitment to hold the bull taming sport in the state. The government also told the youths that it would even approach the President seeking an ordinance on the matter.
State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who along with his cabinet colleague K Pandiarajan held talks with representatives of the protesting youth in Chennai in the wee hours, said the 50 AIADMK Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs will “exert required pressure on the Centre” for conduct of Jallikattu. “Not just that, this government will also take steps to meet the President to seek an ordinance,” Jayakumar said.
However, the protestors demanded an assurance from Chief Minister O Pannerselvam. In response, the government said that it cannot give any oral assurance and indicated that the CM could issue a statement later in the day on the matter.
Chandramohan, one of the representatives who held talks with the ministers on behalf of the protesters, insisted that the Chief Minister support the bull taming sport. “The government should understand the sentiments of the people and exert pressure on the Centre. They (ministers) have assured to find a solution,” he said.
As of now, the protesters are unrelenting in their demand for conducting Jallikattu and continue to stay put at the protest site. The agitators claimed that more volunteers were on their way to join the protests.
Tamil Nadu has been urging the Centre repeatedly to issue an ordinance for the conduct of Jallikattu, held during the Tamil harvest festival Pongal in mid-January.
More than 200 youths were taken into custody on Monday night after they held protests at Alanganallur village demanding lifting of the ban on Jallikattu.

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