MADURAI: A fervent enthusiast of jallikattu has swung into action to bring the bull taming sport back to several villages in Madurai district. The annual event is being held as part of Pongal festivities.
In his lone effort, P Rajaboopathy of Madakulam, Madurai, is giving a clarion call for support to organise the traditional sporting event in all villages. In those days, jallikattu gave a sense of regional and cultural identity in Madurai district, where a total of 162 villages witnessed the sport until 1990, a hub for jallikattu, he said.
Rajaboopathy (40), now into the fourth generation of rearing bulls, said with the active participation of presidents of several villages, where the sport was popular and involvement of representatives of Jallikattu Peravai, efforts have been launched to form committees to bring the past alive. Several years ago, Madurai was an integrated district covering some boundaries with its neighbouring districts of Virudhunagar, Theni, Dindigul, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram and the bull taming sport through which youths showed great valour was organised at most of the villages. But, gradually as years went by, the jallikattu events were reduced and organised at sixty two villages post 1990. Last year, jallikattus were held at just 10 venues, he told DT Next.
Before the 90s agriculture flourished in those villages and bulls were largely used for production on the fields. Moreover, there’s a belief that farmers could yield desired results in agriculture if jallikattu was organised in the villages. Later on, as years progressed, they found themselves economically unable to organise the event at their respective villages, as they could not pay a deposit of Rs 2 lakh for conducting a jallikattu event. Apart from the volunteers of the Peravai and local body representatives’ earnest efforts should be made by sitting MLAs of the concerned constituencies and they should come hand in hand with them to get permission from the government to resume their rights to conduct the event, he said.