Global conspiracy behind ban on Jallikkatu: Dairy farmers

Dairy farmers in South India allege that there is an international conspiracy behind the ban on Jallikkatu, the traditional rural sport in Tamil Nadu. “The Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu following the recommendations by the Animal Welfare Board of India is a result of the conspiracy by a global consortium of dairy and cattle food industries to destroy the native bull and cow breeds in India,” said SR Syam Kumar, a leading dairy farmer in Pattazhi, Kerala.

Syam Kumar, who has a dairy farm which has more than 40 pure native cows, said an international mafia of multi- national companies have been at work since the early 1960s to ensure the extinction of native cattle breeds in India. “Many native cow and bull breeds in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have become extinct as we started importing high-yielding varieties of cattle from Europe. This is the root cause of modern life style diseases among the people,” said Syam Kumar, a software professional-turned-dairy farmer.

To drive home the necessity to preserve the native breeds and to resume Jallikaatu and other cattle sports elsewhere in the country, Syam Kumar who heads the Bharatiya Gau Raksha Vedhi, is organising a walkathon from Kasargod in north Kerala to Parassala, the southern most border point of Kerala. He said the theme of the walkathon will be “Native Breeds for Nation’s Welfare”.

Syam Kumar who hails from Kollam and Brahma Duttan Nampoodiri from Thrithala pointed out that the self-styled animal lovers played a major role in the disappearance of major native breeds from Kerala. “Breeds like Thekkan (Malayalam for Southerner) vanished following the Livestock act 1961 enacted by the then government with the claim of increasing the productivity of milk. They saw to it that the native bull breeds were castrated and launched a programme of artificial insemination resulting in large scale culling of native bull breeds,” said Namboodiri.

Ramakrishna Gauthaman, director, Vedic Sciences Research Centre, who has been studying about native cattle breeds of Tamil Nadu said following the ban on Jallikkattu, owners of rare breeds of bulls were sending them to slaughter houses at throw away prices. “It is not financially viable for ordinary cattle growers to maintain such animals without Jallikkatu. Because of the ban on Jallikkatu, these animals are of no use to them.

Jallikkatu is part of a tradition associated with temples. By banning it, the divine bond between the common man, animal and the temples would be broken,” said Gauthaman who also alleges that the demand by animal rights activists for banning Jallikkattu  is a ploy to convert the non-beef eaters of Tamil Nadu into beef eaters.

“They argue that bulls are treated cruelly by the bull tamers. It is a lie as there are strict rules governing the conducting of Jallikkatu. Please do not be under the impression that it is some kind of tribal sports. All people who are associated with Jallikkatu are professionals  and lovers of animals,” said Gauthaman.

Deepak, a 30-year-old bull tamer from Karisalkulam village in Madurai district, said he owns three Jallikkattu bulls. “The three bulls are looked after like our own children by the family members. Jallikkatu is a sport, like any other sporting activities. Not a single bull has been injured or got killed during the sports,” said Deepak, who works for a software company in Chennai.

Jallikkatu bulls and villagers share a special bond as the owners of these rare breeds consider them as divine gifts. “The bulls are fed whatever we eat at home. Allegations that they are forced to eat non-vegetarian food and drink alcohol are blatant lies,” said Gauthaman.