Decoding Jallikattu Protest – What went right, what didn’t ?

If you were in India, you probably would have heard about the massive protest that happened across TamilNadu against the ban on the popular “Taming the Bull” Sport, “Jallikattu”. This was done on an unprecedented scale and ended up being a successful protest . In contrast to any other protests, this was done largely on a peaceful scale , assembling in the popular Marina Beach and causing almost no disruption to everyday life. The people who gathered in these protests were largely youngsters,(college students, some school students, and even professionals) who took time to come and sit in these protests.

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The protest however took an anti climax turn, when political parties started to interfere for their own political gain. They brought in the miscreants, who tried to shift the theme against the current government and incite violence . The final day of the protest saw the bill being passed permanently in the legislature, sadly with a lot of damage to properties and people. The papers only said, the city was in a battlefield state, rather than actually celebrating a success that they fought for pretty hard.

So here’s a quick look on what actually went right and what didn’t.

Positives of Jallikattu Protest

  • The biggest highlight of the Jallikattu protest was the unification of youth, who came out in large nos against the ban. Messages were primarily spread through social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and it gained momentum as the days went. 
  •  Not just the youth , but we also saw professionals, families including their kids and single women coming together to make a powerful impact.
  • It’s probably the first peaceful protest organized by the students, that actually made both the central and state governments to notice and come up with quick resolutions
  • It’s also the first time, when a supreme court order has been challenged by the people of a state, but in a peaceful way. Finally a revised order was made by the state government (with approval from the centre) to revoke the ban.
  • For the first time, politicians and film actors were strictly denied entry to join the protests and to keep it as civil as possible.
  • It sent out a positive message to neighbouring states and countries, that one could protest in a peaceful manner without violence/strikes . A simple large gathering motivated purely through the issue at hand and not monetarily can definitely make a huge difference

Downsides of Jallikattu Protest

  • Celebrities including film actors, who earlier campaigned for PETA (or even supported animals) were trolled, abused, threatened and harassed beyond reproach.
  • People were not allowed to have a different opinion on the matter, and such people were suddenly called anti-nationals.
  • The final day of the protests saw some ugly scenes. Police tried to dismantle the protesters through force, instead of waiting it through or negotiation talks.
  • The single motive of revoking Jallikattu ban became diluted into multiple asks. Protesters suddenly wanted the following things
    • Ban of PETA organization
    • Ban of Pepsi, Coke
    • Removal of current government, claiming it showed inaction during the issue

  • Racial/Religious targeting and abuse of people who wanted the ban on Jallikattu. The Trolls of Twitter and FB, who hid behind fake names and profile pictures, began to unleash profanity and vulgar language.
  • A friend of mine , who had participated in a Jallikattu ban group was threatened and abused for several days. He was abused, not on his opinion but on his caste, relgion, work and even his dressing sense. Not only him, but his wife and family were also not spared from abusive Facebook messages.
  • When film actors voiced their support for pro Jallikattu, it was remarked that they did it for publicity and to promote their movies. If they didn’t voice an opinion, they were abused and told they didn’t have any social consciousness.
  • It was ok if you didn’t believe in Hinduism, Christianity , Islam or any religion. It was ok if you were anti BJP or anti Congress or anti any party. But if you happened to be anti Jallikattu, you were suddenly called a traitor and a non-Tamilian.
  • Miscreants, slum dwellers, fishermen, funded by political parties began to disguise themselves as normal people and blocked all main junctions in the city during peak hours.This caused a massive delay for all office goers, school children, unable to return back home by any means. A city being held hostage by such miscreants should have been prevented at all costs.
  • The protest site began a breeding ground for the anti nationals to raise unwanted slogans against the leaders and even started demanding

It’s always inevitable that a certain downside happens to every protest , no matter how peaceful it starts. Yet some of the points above could have been prevented easily. Irrespective of how I feel about this issue, I’m atleast glad that a resolution was passed to ensure the smooth functioning of the sport,in all places

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