The jallikattu at Alanganallur was conducted as the legal hurdles were cleared after unprecedented people’s movement across the state in January. The event turned out to be a battle between a ‘brigade’ of 500 bulls and an ‘army’ of 1,000 tamers witnessed by thousands of people from all over the state and country.
The number were high compared to Avaniyapuram and Palamedu, where the event was held earlier, in all aspects. The show commenced with the participants taking a pledge to follow the rules and not to hurt the bulls. Following this, the temple bulls were let out as per the tradition.
Later, the participant bulls started testing their strength with the tamers and the final run happened around 4.50 pm A set of 150 tamers per hour only were allowed inside the arena. They were replaced by another set of tamers while only those who tamed the maximum number of bulls were allowed to stay. There were three types of bulls announced by the Jallikattu Organising Committee. One was ‘Pidi Madu’ which was tamed.
The second, ‘Pokku Madu’, was untamed as it ran straight to the bull collection point soon after it was released from the Vadivasal. The third, ‘Suthu Madu’, stayed inside the arena and tried to take on the tamers without heading to the collecting point. Those who tamed the ‘Suthu Madu’ were given bonus prizes.
Surprisingly, it was the bull, sponsored by Sri Lankan Minister Senthil Thondaman that won the best bull award and walked away with a Maruti Suzuki Alto car. The second prize - a power tiller - was bagged by the bull of P Rajasekar, president of Jallikattu Peravai. The third prize - a TVS XL bike - was grabbed by the Anaiyur Perumal Temple bull.
Speaking to media persons, Thondaman, Minister of Roads, Housing, Cooperative and State Infrastructure of Uva Province in Sri Lanka, claimed that their family has been into bull raising for the past 250 years and they had brought five bulls to Madurai. While two of the bulls participated at Palamedu, the other three tested the turf in Alanganllur.
Speaking about the bulls, he claimed that there were separate swimming polls and individual rooms for the bulls and they were maintained under a stable temperature. “The bulls are treated as a member of our family. They are taken to jallikattus in air-conditioned vehicles. This is the reason behind their success,” claimed Thondaman.
Among the bull tamers, Vimalraj, from Panayakudi, topped the list by taming 13 bulls, followed by Manikanda Prabhu, a police constable, who tamed 12 bulls. Third place was won by Anandan of Kokkikilam, while fourth and fifth places were clinched by Dharmaraj from Manjampatti and Sarath Kumar, from Melur respectively.
The first four bull tamers were presented with Royal Enfield bikes while the fifth place was presented with a Honda bike. The tamers were also awarded gold coins sponsored by Thanthi group. Each winner was awarded at least Rs 5,000 while the bulls received prizes starting from Rs 50,000.
Two injured at Kalingapatti
Meanwhile in Tiruchy, two participants sustained injuries in the jallikattu held at Kalingapatti village near Manapparai on Friday. The event was organised by the committee of Karungulam, comprising village heads. A coir pith was laid for the first 50 metre of the arena to protect bull tamers from getting injured. Collector K S Palanisamy inspected the venue on Thursday. Double barricades were erected along the arena to ensure safety of onlookers. A multi-tier gallery was also set up.
Around 3,000 villagers witnessed the traditional sport. According to Animal Husbandry department, as many as 158 bulls from Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Dindigul, Theni and Salem districts were brought to the event. However, 11 bulls were not in good health condition and were denied permission to take part in the event. A total of 175 tamers, who cleared the medical test, were given green jerseys to participate in the event. Tamers, who managed to hold on to the hump of the bull for 30 metres were awarded prizes, including steel vessels, cots, and steel almirahs. The owner of a suthu maadu from Nagarapatti village in Pudukkottai district, was awarded with Rs 1,000 cash by the collector K S Palanisamy. About 500 police personnel headed by Superintendent of Police T Senthil Kumar were on security duty for the event.
Union Minister lauds Madurai collector
Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Friday appreciated Madurai Collector K Veera Raghav Rao for ensuring an incident free jallikattu at Alanganallur. The Collector was active in ensuring the safety of not just the bulls, but also the tamers and public, said Pon Radhakrishnan. The Union Minister visited Alanganallur and sat next to DMK Working President, M K Stalin. Speaking to the media after the event, he said that Jallikattu has a history of over 1,000 years. Even in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tried his best to conduct jallikattu by enacting an ordinance but it was stayed by the Supreme Court, he said.
Stalin dedicates jallikattu event to students’ protest
DMK Working President M K Stalin dedicated jallikattu event at Alanganallur to the success of the protests organised by students and youngsters in the state.
Stalin, along with his party men had come to Alanganallur to witness the event on Friday. He distributed prizes to the bull owners and bull tamers. Speaking to media persons, Stalin met media persons and said that the students and youngsters should be thanked for making jallikattu a reality in the state after two years. The protest led by the youngsters had forced the government to take steps to conduct jallikattu. “Though the event was conducted successfully after two years, the case on jallikattu is still pertaining in the Supreme Court and the state government should take permanent measures to conduct jallikattu,” he said and added that “DMK will always be with the state government in the jallikattu issue.”