Jallikattu – Part 2


Jallikattu – Part 2

#GS-01 Culture and Heritage

For Prelims


  • Jallikattu is practised in the state of Tamil Nadu annually in the month of January as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal
  • The sport is played in an open ground where a bull is let loose amid hordes of people who then try to control the bull by piling on its hump or horns.
  • Jallikattu was the traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bull’s lineage.
  • Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are some of the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.

Historical Antecedence of the Sport:

  • The first references of this traditional sport dates back to 400 BC –100 BC, and it is believed to be created by the people who lived in the Mullai division of prehistoric Tamilnadu.
  • A seal belonging to the Indus Valley civilization which depicts the practice has been preserved in the National Museum, New Delhi.
  • A 1,500 years old cave painting in white kaolin depicting a lone man trying to control a bull has been discovered near Madurai.


For Mains

Legal Concerns:

  • Jallikattu came under public scrutiny in 2007 when the Animal Welfare Board of India and the animal rights group PETA filed petitions in the Supreme Court against the practice of Jallikattu as well as bullock cart races.
  • In 2011, the Centre added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition has been prohibited.
  • Citing the 2011 notification the Supreme Court in 2014 banned Jallikattu.
  • Tamil Nadu government created Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017 to counter the ban.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it has remained pending till now.
  • Two persons were gored to death in two jallikattu events at Palamedu in Madurai district and Periya Suriyur in Tiruchi district on 16th January 2023.

Source “Jallikattu in T.N.: tamer and spectator gored to death

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