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JALLIKATTU

Report (year 2007) on the cruel and


barbaric event of bull fight being
promoted in Tamil Nadu, India in the
name of sport of valour
Published by Elsa Foundation
Evoma, Ground Floor, Prestige Featherlite Tech Park, Plot No. 148, EPIP-2nd Phase,
Whitefield, Bangalore, India, Postal code: 560066

First Limited Edition: 2007


(This is the very first report presented in court requesting a ban of Jallikattu.
Based on this Supreme Court banned Jallikattu in year 2007)

Elsa Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust that focuses on conservation of


biodiversity, welfare issues of animals and opposes keeping wild animals in captivity.
The foundation supports various government bodies, in informed policy making and
decision making on critical issues impacting biodiversity and welfare of animals.

Contact:
Mr. Prakash Sasha
Co-Founder – Elsa Foundation
Email: prakashelsa@gmail.com
Phone: +91- 7030-990-847
Table of Contents
Introduction: ........................................................................................................................ 3
Images ................................................................................................................................. 4
Image1: (The Hindu)....................................................................................................... 4
Image 2: (by Henk Jacobs) ............................................................................................. 5
Image 3: (The Hindu)...................................................................................................... 6
Image 4: (by Dinamalar, Tamil news daily) ................................................................... 7
Image 5: (by Nilacharal) ................................................................................................. 8
Three cruel forms of Jallikattu: ........................................................................................... 9
Vaadi: .............................................................................................................................. 9
Manjuverattu: .................................................................................................................. 9
Vadam ............................................................................................................................. 9
Cruel methods used to intensify the ferociousness of the bull............................................ 9
Event of complete chaos: .................................................................................................. 10
Image 6: (by Nilacharal) ............................................................................................... 10
Spot deaths / Injury statistics of some of the Jallikattu events:- ....................................... 11
Deaths due to non availability of medical care: ................................................................ 11
Death due to stampede ...................................................................................................... 11
Communal violence: ......................................................................................................... 12
Violation of Law: .............................................................................................................. 12
Breach of Law supported by the government: .................................................................. 12
Conclusion & Recommendation: ...................................................................................... 12
Appendix A: News paper articles ..................................................................................... 13
Article 1: High Court refuses permission for Jallikattu, Bullock cart race ................... 13
Article 2: The Hindu editorial ....................................................................................... 15
Article 3: Death of young artist at Jallikattu due to negligence .................................... 16

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Introduction:
Jallikattu is a famous event of bull fight happening at various parts of Tamil Nadu during
the month of January every year as a part of Pongal festival (Harvest festival).

Among all the events Alanganallur Jallikattu (near Madurai) is the most famous event.

Even though this event is promoted as a sport of bravery, the ground reality is completely
different.

This is an inhumane and barbaric event in which the bulls are tortured in the cruellest
forms

Without any rules and regulations this is one the crudest event conducted in the name of
sport.

Several cases of animals being killed or losing their limbs or losing their eye sight are
happening regularly.

Apart from the cruelty met out by the animals, this is a fatal event where, not only the
matadors but also the audience are killed and injured seriously every year.

It is so painful to note that just for the purpose of entertainment a fatal event is conducted.

Jallikattu is promoted by the Tamil Nadu state government even though this event is
dangerous both to animals and humans and it violates the law.

The following report gives the details of this event along with the images.

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Images
Image1: (The Hindu)

A serious violation of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act 1960


A close observation of the above image taken at a Jallikattu event clearly shows the following:
At a single point of time:
 A huge crowd pulls the neck of the bull with a rope towards the front direction. The
sudden pull with huge force cuts the throat of the bull.
 Its tail is twisted and pulled harshly towards the left direction.
 Both its hind legs are lifted and pulled towards back direction to immobilize the animal.
 A group of people jump on its hump. To get a grip on the running animal people use their
sharp finger nails to hold the body of the bull resulting in bruises all over the animal’s
body
 Another group pulls its horn. People attack the animal with non stop blows
Can an animal be subjected to more cruelty than this?
The animal suffers with extreme pain because at a single point of time its body, limbs, tail and
horn are pulled in multiple directions, scratched with nails and thrashed to the ground by the
huge angry mob.

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Image 2: (by Henk Jacobs)

The image shows thousands of people waiting to attack a single bull.


 One bull has to face “hundred thousand” humans attacking it.
 Is this insane act really an act of bravery?
 It is not the pride of Tamil Nadu, It’s a shame on Tamil Nadu

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Image 3: (The Hindu)

A violent crowd trying to put down the poor animal by jumping on it

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Image 4: (by Dinamalar, Tamil news daily)

Danger to human life


Left: A man’s body torn by the horns of the bull and he is dead on the spot
Right: A man who fell on the ground being stabbed and another man tossed in
the air by an intimidated bull

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Image 5: (by Nilacharal)

Danger to the audience


Unable to find a path to escape the bull plunges in to the audience.
Several audience are killed and injured every year in Jallikattu

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Three cruel forms of Jallikattu:
Vaadi:

In this type of event the bull is made to run on a straight path for several meters where
both sides of the path thousands of matadors and audience stand. There are no barricades
separating the audience from the bull. Hundreds of people jump on the bull to tame it.

Manjuverattu:

This is one of the cruel forms of Jallikattu where the bull is chased for several kilometres
by several group of people waiting at different locations in the village. The bull cannot
stop its run at any point of time. If it successfully manages to escape from one group of
people then immediately another group of people will start the chase.

Dehydrated by the endless run with wounds all over the body due to people attacking it
while chasing, finally the bull surrenders and is thrashed to the ground and the bell on its
neck is pulled forcibly leaving huge wounds and scars on its neck to mark the victory of
man over this gentle giant.

Vadam:

In this type of Jallikattu the bull is tied in the centre of the ground with a big rope on its
neck, so that it can’t move more than a distance of 15 ft radius. It has to move within that
circular arena. The arena is of 20 ft of radius and it’s guarded with bamboo sticks tied
closely in circular way.

There will be 9 contestants trying to battle and tame the bull within 30 minutes of time.
The audiences are seated behind the bamboo sticks. The contestants go near the bull to
catch it, when the bull chases them they utilise the safety space of 5 ft were the bull
cannot reach. Nine matadors run in different directions around the bull so that the animal
gets confused and become restless and it would be easy for the matadors to tame it.

Cruel methods used to intensify the ferociousness of


the bull
The bull is force fed with locally made liquor (Arrack).
Eye irritants (chilli pepper, lime extract etc) are poured in to its eyes.
Slashing the bull with knives.
Throwing sand in to bull’s eyes
Twisting the tail of bull

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Event of complete chaos:
Jallikattu is not governed by any set of procedures or rules. For example in the Vaadi
style Jallikattu at Alanganallur the scene is completely chaotic with any number of
contestants jumping on the bull and path where the bull to runs for its life is completely
blocked by the crowd. Such uncontrollable crowd leads to high mortality rate

Image 6: (by Nilacharal)

The entrance, where the bulls are


forcibly driven in to the crowd

The bull left out of this narrow entrance to run for its life is unable to proceed
even a few meters as the path is blocked by thousands of people.

The bull on entering the arena sees several lakhs of people standing to chase it, unable to
decide which direction to run it plunges in to audience crowd seated on galleries breaking
its limbs with severe wounds. This also leads to death and injury of contestants as well as
audience.

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Spot deaths / Injury statistics of some of the Jallikattu
events:-
Tiruchirapalli, Feb 17, 1999:- A 17-year-old youth was gored to death and more than
100 persons were injured in the annual Jallikattu festival (taming of bulls) at Koothapar
village near Tiruverambur.

Pudukottai, Feb. 24, 2002:- 1 was gored to death and 30 others were injured while they
attempted to tame the bulls at a `jallikattu' at Tiruvapur.

Alanganallur in Madurai, JAN. 17 2004:- 1 death and 160 injured of Mattaparai in


Dindigul district.

Alanganallur in Madurai, Jan 18, 2005:- 4 gored to death, 50 injured.

Sivaganga, Jan 17,2005 :- Two killed, 50 injured in Jallikattu

Pallavarayanpatti in Theni district Jan 2006:- Two persons were gored to death and 84
others injured in Jallikattu

Deaths due to non availability of medical care:


The injured humans are not given proper medical care as there are no sophisticated
treatment facilities available at the venue of Jallikattu. Shifting of injured to hospitals is
also delayed in many cases.

Several deaths are results of negligence by authorities and due to non availability of
emergency medical care (“Article: 3” in Appendix A at the end of this document
confirms the same)

Were the cases of injured humans is in such a pathetic condition, the condition of injured
animals is the worst. Without any veterinary treatment these animals slowly succumb to
injuries or lose their limbs or eye sight.

Death due to stampede


Several cases of deaths due to stampede occurs as the bull or the audience run over
people.

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Communal violence:
Such large uncontrollable gathering of violent mob leads to communal violence. Many
who are part of this event are under the influence of alcohol which adds up to the
problem. Large outbreak of communal violence is a huge threat to lives of public,
valuable property and to the unity of the people.

Violation of Law:
Jallikattu violates the basic ethics of treatment of animals.
It clearly violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
It also violates the laws of this land for safety of human life.
It also violates the laws of this land which prevents communal violence.

Breach of Law supported by the government:


Even though the event is a potential danger to human and animals lives it’s extremely
shocking to know that this event is promoted by the government of Tamil Nadu.

Conclusion & Recommendation:


The following are the findings about Jallikattu:

 It is obvious that voiceless animals are subjected to extreme cruelty in Jallikattu


event.

 It is also very clear that valuable human life is exposed to danger in this event

 Both humans and animals are purposefully made vulnerable to death and injury.

 Youth are made to believe such bull fights are an act of valour but such barbaric
events are wrong examples of bravery or valour which may lead to more and
more violence in the country.

 Such events are root cause for spread of communal violence that leads loss of life
of innocent public.

 Jallikattu is conducted just for entertainment. Casualties are allowed for mere
entertainment.

Based on the facts mentioned in this document and also on the grounds of
compassion we pray that the honourable court should bring a complete and
permanent BAN on Jallikattu and other similar events like Rekela race (bullock
cart race) in Tamil Nadu, which are potential threats to the lives of humans and
animals and also that leads to larger problems like communal violence, which is
a huge threat to our country’s integrity.

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Appendix A: News paper articles
Article 1: High Court refuses permission for Jallikattu, Bullock
cart race

Date:30/03/2006 URL:
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/03/30/stories/2006033010480400.htm

Tamil Nadu - Madurai

Court cracks the whip

Mohamed Imranullah S

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday


directed the State Government to take steps to prevent cruelty to animals in the
guise of `rekela' (bullock cart) race, oxen race, `jalli kattu' or any other form of
entertainment.

Refusing to allow a writ petition, which sought police permission for


conducting `rekela' race in view of the mahakumbabhishekam of a temple at
Ramanathapuram, Justice R. Banumathi also directed the Chief Secretary and

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the Director-General of Police to strictly implement the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, all over the State.

On the petitioner's claim that the Tourism Department was conducting


`jallikattu' to attract tourists, the judge said: "It is high time the Government
shouldered the responsibility of taking up the cause of animals... Equally, it is
high time the police too shared responsibility in boldly declining permission for
conducting such races... "

The judge said she was not trying to enact a new law, but only emphasising
effective implementation of an existing law.

Quotes from book

Quoting passages from the book `Animal Laws in India' by Maneka


Gandhi and two others, the judge observed: "Can the entertainment of the
gathering be justification for inflicting such pain upon the bullock is the
question to be posed to the consciousness of society."

She also referred to a study conducted by J. Edgar Hoover, former director


of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who found that in every case,
convicts involved in violent crimes had a childhood history of cruelty to
animals.

The judge pointed out that Section 11 of the PCA Act stipulated a fine of Rs.50
for beating, kicking, overriding, overloading or torturing an animal.

"There is an urgent need to increase the fine amount and to award stringent
punishment under the section," the judge added.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

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Article 2: The Hindu editorial

Date:31/01/2006 URL:
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/01/31/stories/2006013100681000.htm

Opinion - Editorials

Death in the name of sport

All adventure sports have an inherent element of danger. But none poses a
threat to participants and spectators alike as does Jallikattu, the traditional bull
taming ritual in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu. The sport, an annual feature
coinciding with the harvest festival of Pongal, involves a large number of young
men who at any given point of time are either chasing a bull or running away
from it. Every year, the sport leaves at least three or four dead, and scores of
others seriously injured. Not all the casualties are caused by the bull. While
indeed some are gored to death, many suffer grievous hurt in the stampede
induced by the very nature of the sport. The barricades put up to separate
spectators from participants are no barriers to a rampaging bull, and many of the
spectators find themselves forcibly drawn into a contest with the animal. But
the bull is as much the victim as it is the aggressor. Before the start, the
organisers adopt bizarre methods to provoke the animal to a greater level of
ferocity. These include feeding it liquor, using irritants on its eyes and body,
and slashing it with knives. The youths rarely take the bull by the horns. More
often the attempt is to hold on to the hump for some distance. At times, some
youths try and stop the bull by its tail. All would seem to be fair in this event.

Surprisingly, the Tamil Nadu Government has done little to regulate the sport.
The effort so far has been to promote it in the international tourism calendar.
The Alanganallur event attracts foreigners who arrive in the hope of getting to
watch an Indian version of the Pamplona bull run. But contrary to popular
perception, the event has changed unrecognisably from the traditional bull
taming ritual, in which one person was locked in a contest with a bull. The
modern version has little to do with valour; it is more a means for releasing a
rush of adrenaline. Jallikattu, which derives its name from the bundle of coins
that used to be tied between the horns of the animal in the earlier forms of the
sport, is now a means for some easy cash and short-lived fame for the poverty-
stricken local youth. While in ancient times the victor could hope to win the
hand of the bull owner's daughter, no such luck awaits the hero of the modern
day jallikattu. It is indeed a sport that subjects the bull to unnecessary torment
and holds mortal danger to the contestants and spectators alike. Ideally, there

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should be no place for such a sport in this age, but it remains hugely popular,
and calls for a ban have met with stiff resistance from community leaders. It
remains very much a part of the rural belief systems: failure to hold the event
would be seen as a bad omen. However, the least that the local administration
can do is to monitor and regulate the event to make it less cruel and less
dangerous. Desperate youth must not be allowed to court death in the name of a
sporting tradition.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Article 3: Death of young artist at Jallikattu due to negligence

Date:22/12/2006 URL:
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/12/22/stories/2006122207110400.htm

Tamil Nadu

Victim's father moves court to ban `jallikattu'

Mohamed Imranullah S.

Marimuthu was sketching the scene

MADURAI: The father of a youngster, who lost his life while watching
`jallikattu' (bull taming) at Alanganallur near here in January 2004, has moved
the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to ban the event scheduled for
January 2007.

Admitting the writ petition, Justice K. Mohan Ram referred the matter to a
Division Bench already hearing other similar petitions.

The petitioner, A. Nagarajan of Madurai, said that his youngest son, N.


Marimuthu, was an artist by profession. When he was sketching a picture of
`jallikattu' at Alanganallur in 2004 from the audience gallery, one of the bulls
pounced on him causing grievous injuries.

Delay cost life

Though the incident took place at 11.50 a.m., the police informed the family

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members only around 4 p.m., the petitioner said and alleged that the police as
well as the medical team at Alanganallur took a long time to shift Marimuthu to
the Government Rajaji Hospital here. A precious life could have been saved had
the police alerted the relatives on time, he said.

Claiming that the officials failed to make sufficient arrangements to check such
incidents, he sought a stay on the sport.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

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