Jallikattu Protests in Tamil Nadu recently created lot of buzz at international level. From the likes of BBC, CNN and other big international and national media covered the protests.
But we still feel there were lot of things Media never spoke off. Here is our list of things which we believe Media never covered.
1. The Protest to lift the ban on Jallikattu is not ONLY for lifting the ban on the sport.
It was estimated that over 5 Million Tamil’s were protesting to lift the ban on Jallikattu – The Traditional Bull taming Sport in South India. But is it just the ban on the sport that all these people were fighting for? NO.
In a mechanized world today, Native bulls are not used for tilling the soil / transportation, tractors and motorized vehicles have replaced them long back. The only two reasons why farmers still rear Native Bulls in TN is (1) to make them participate in Jallikattu and (2) to use them for Breeding.
If you Ban Jallikattu, the farmers will not have any specific reason to rear a Native Bull (as maintaining them only for Breeding is a costly affair). The farmer is left only with two options then (1) to send them to the Slaughter house [ Remember , India is the No; 1 Beef Exporter in the world ] (2) instead of grooming a bull, cross / inseminate his native cow with an exotic or cross breed to produce more milk (A Cross Breed produces A1 Milk and a Pure Native Breed produces A2 Milk).
2. Why is preserving the Native Bull so very Important?
There were more than 130 Native Bull Varieties in India, but now we have less than 8 Native Pure Bred Varieties. Their numbers are also very low (in thousands today, but we had over million Native Breeds in 2000).
Today, India is No; 1 is Dairy exports. But If the Native Bulls go extinct, there are only two ways in which India can produce milk.
(1) to impregnate the Native Cows is via “Artificial Insemination” [ Only corporate companies hold the patents for this and hence a small time villager will not be able to afford to Artificially Inseminate]
(2) Import Western Bulls and Cross Breed with the Native Cows [ Maintaining these western bulls is costly and a villager will not be able to rear them]. Today, India’s nearly 60% of India’s Dairy production in un-organized. If we lose the Native Bull, Dairy production will be corporatized.
Moreover, a Cross Bred cow produces A1 milk and a Pure-Bred cow produces A2 Milk.
3. What is A2 Milk? Why is it Important?
The A2 milk produced by the humped Indian cow (pure bred with a Native Bull) is nature’s perfect food, with a multitude of useful nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins and micro-nutrients of high quality that helps improve the immune resistance.
In contrast, the A1 milk produced by the hump-less western cow (and Cross Breeds in India) has toxic content and is proven to be the cause of several health conditions like Type 1 Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Cancer etc…
There is a New Zealand based company called A2 Corporation that has already trademarked and have patents to sell A2 Milk across the globe.
4. How Can Jallikattu Save the Native Bull and inturn Help Indian Children drink A2 Milk at a Low Cost?
The Native Bulls from most part of India have already gone extinct. There are very few Breeds (5 to be precise) that exists today in South India.
Jallikattu is a tradition that will keep farmers motivated to rear these native Bulls (These Bulls are taken care of as Sons / Brothers in South India and are even given a very emotional burial on their death) and there by help in Native Breeding and production of A2 Milk Locally.
World wide A2 Milk from the A2 Corporation is sold at 2x the price of A1 Milk owing to its health benefits.
5. Why do the protesters demand to ban PeTA?
The Protesters “believe” that PeTA is just the front face of a larger business agenda behind the Ban on Jallikattu. There “could be” big Multi-nationals [ Eyeing to capture the 60% un-organized rural production of Milk in India ] funding PeTA a Not for Profit Organization [ That reported 44 Million USD as Revenue in 2015 ]
Why else would a Animal Welfare Organization ignore so many obvious animal cruelty (Horse Racing / Elephants in Temples / Camels used for Transportation in Rajasthan) and target the Native Indian Bull that is reared in good health and used for a “One Day” sport in South India?
6. How did the Youth in Tamil Nadu identify this “Hidden Agenda” and come forward to Protest?
It all began with one YouTube Video – “Takkaru Takkaru”, the work of a local musician in TN (Hip Hop Tamizha) that was released in August 2016. The video today has over 5 Million Views and tells the business agenda behind Jallikattu Ban in a Hip Hop Style.
The video that begins like a short film showcases how Bulls are reared in South India (How they are loved and respected) and ends with different people associated with Jallikattu voicing out their opinion on why the sport should continue.
The song inspires the youth with the rich cultural heritage of Tamil and how the youth should not be ignorant of these issues which might ultimately lead to everyone losing their Identity. The song also clearly defines that this issue is not about the” Bull”, but about our Country At large.
7. When did this Protest Start?
This protest to reverse the Ban on Jallikattu (that was first imposed in 2011) was very minimal and unorganized. Then people like Karthikeya Sivasenapathy realized that to fight against this ban, they needed clear documentation and a organization. He set up a foundation Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation and started his peaceful protest in 2013.
He along with his colleagues started the Protest in Marina Beach in 2013 (see image) with just 17 people standing by him then. In 2017, Tamils across the globe (estimated to be over 5 Million) joined him in this peaceful protest to save tradition and the native Bulls.
8. Did this Protest Happen only in TN?
These protests were not limited to Chennai or TN. Tamils from other States in India also showed their support by taking to the Streets and Protesting Peacefully. Tamils from across the globe (Australia / Dubai / USA / UK / Belgium / Canada / Japan / China / France and many more) organized themselves and convened in specific locations in their own cities [ With the permission of the local Police and Authorities] to show their support for Jallikattu.
9. What was so unique about this Protest?
There were so many unique attributes to this Protest. The biggest of them all was that it was a “Leaderless Protest”. There was not one person who is leading the protest anywhere. The youth themselves took the issue in their hands and organized themselves to lead the protest across Tamil Nadu.
It brought everyone together without any religious / caste / financial status / gender / age differences.
The protesters across the globe are into a peaceful protest without causing any distress to public.
The Youth did not allow any Political Party to join them and even sent back big Political leaders like M.K Stalin of the DMK stating that this was a youth protest and they did want to paint a political shade to it.
The Youth did not encourage Celebrities (Actors / Actresses ) who came and just wished them good luck and left in 5 mins. They insisted that if the Celebrities really wanted to show their support, they should stay with them for a min of 8 Hours.
10. Women in the Protest
Many working women, college and School students also participated in these protest and showed their support. They not only organized their own slogans and protests, but also stayed over night and spent the entire night in the open beach along with Men.
Not a single untoward incident was reported and the women and girls even slept peacefully in the open beach without any fear.
11. What are some interesting incidents that happened during the protest?
Incident 1 : Police during duty time, a protester during other times
Some Policemen who were on duty did their job in the morning and joined the protests as a common man once their duty was over. Some Policemen even came forward in their uniforms and expressed their support to the protesters.
Incident 2 : Food / Drinks and Common Amenities
Most of the Protesters stayed in the Marina for more than 4 days. All of them who were in the protest were fed by others who were not able to join them. Food / Water Packets came at regular intervals and not one person stayed hungry. Muslim / Christian and other organizations along with some families took up this task and made sure that each and every person was fed.
The youth also organized and set up temporary rest rooms for men and women.
Incident 3 : Youth Committees
The Youth organized themselves into committees and organized their work themselves. There was a Food Committee which received and distributed food and water. There was a traffic committee which regulated traffic on the roads (and made way for ambulances whenever needed). There was Clean Up committee that worked between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM to clean up the food / water packets that were strewn all around. The most important committee was the “Educating Committee that educated all those who were at the beach about the need for Jallikattu, about preserving native bulls and A2 Milk.