Sunday, July 14, 2024

Tamil Nadu villages gear up for Jallikattu

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The villages of Tamil Nadu are gearing up for Jallikattu with the season commencing along with the Pongal celebrations. However, the state Health department has issued stringent guidelines for bull-tamers, owners of bulls and caretakers to mandatorily take two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. These people must produce RT-PCR negative certificates taken two days prior to the Jallikattu event.

The District Collectors have been assigned the responsibility for making sure that Jallikattu is conducted in their respective districts adhering to government guidelines. The bull-taming competition or Jallikattu is the biggest sport in the villages of Tamil Nadu and is conducted after the harvest season. There are huge prizes for the winning bull, its owner and the bull-tamer which is celebrated with pomp and galore in the respective villages .

However, the festival is accident-prone and if the bull barges into the crowd ,several people get injured and in worst cases people are beaten to death by the violent bull. The season starts from the Thai month in mid-January and goes on till the month of June across Tamil Nadu. With the last few years having a very subdued festival due to Covid-19 restrictions, people are gearing up for the Jalikattu festival where people arrive in large numbers in festive spirit.

Muthukesavan, a bull-tamer from Madurai, the hub of Jallikattu, told IANS, “The season is commencing from mid-January and we are winning for sure. It’s been a long ordeal for the past two years and with little restrictions and presence of crowd we will have a wonderful time. I have taken two doses of Covid vaccine and will take an RT-PCR test two days prior to the competition. Jallikattu is the festival of Tamil Nadu and our valour is exhibited in the field.” The people from far-off areas reach the Jallikattu hot spots like Madurai, Pudukottai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Erode to watch the sport.

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