As the revolution continues, I see that some of us have lost focus. And then there are some of our usual politicians doing and saying stupid things. And this has distracted some of us fighting for the cause. Also, obviously, there are a lot of misunderstandings about Jallikattu, about the “South Indians” (such a relief there’s no usage of the term, “Madrasi”). So here I am, contributing my two cents to clear some air around the issue.
This is not merely a cultural affair
While some might claim this to be a cultural affair and given that statements such as “Why us,” would make you think that a bunch of people are just taking turns playing victim, let’s remember the whole idea behind Jallikattu. It’s common sense, actually. This is not a cultural or a religious practice. This is science. It’s about evolution. It’s about selection of genes and progeny in bulls. The strongest and the most powerful bulls are chosen for breeding.
When animals are domesticated, they start living a way of life that’s different from what it would’ve been if they were left in the wild. Before you spring up and say that these bulls should’ve lived in the wild, let me tell you, if they had, there’s a chance that they may not have survived this long. These guys are no match for the wild bulls seen in forests such as Nagarhole. But let’s come back. The one thing that men can do to help evolution of these species is breed them well by choosing the good ones to breed. This is not to say that the ones not suitable for Jallikattu are killed—they’re not. The stronger bulls are used to breed, which produce stronger calves who grow up to be cows and bulls with naturally healthy genetics.
The milk issue
It’s simple. Just like how South Asians process food different from, say, Caucasians, we process milk differently as well. What’s local to us suits our body. That’s the primary reason a certain kind of species survive in a certain kind of weather condition. While the difference may not be as much as a Martian being able to drink water, there’s still difference. I used to drink the milk of a native cow when I was in school, and I drew a good amount of nutrition from it. Now I get blended, processed milk, and the nutritional absorption isn’t the same. This is the reason people are fighting for the native breeds to not go extinct.
Impact of the number
One of my friends from school had a question whether it would be right for the Honourable Supreme Court to backtrack on a statement just because of the sheer number of protesters. Well, it’s not about the number. Let’s look at it this way: the number is this high because that number of people feel they’ve been wronged. Just how the number of votes count in the democracy, the number of people who are standing for a cause also should count. And think about it, how could the Supreme Court, who is supposed to guard the interests of the citizens, make a statement about just killing a practice without sufficient evidence?
It just shows that the people think that the Supreme Court has not been shown enough evidences from both the sides. So we people have taken it upon ourselves to be loud enough so the court reconsiders the situation. We just want the SC to look further into the facts before going ahead and banning something entirely. We’re not in a dictatorship, and we’re not in contempt of the Court. These lacs of people are not conducting Jallikattu against the Court’s order, but respectfully challenging its stand, which is allowed in a democracy.
Separatism is just pathetic. It’s for the political class. Let’s not stoop that low. So, this is to all those people who are calling this a mere “Tamil culture”, or saying things like “Our country, Tamilnadu; national festival: Pongal; Independence Day: soon”, please back off. You’re better off in the Parliament or the Legislature. That’s the place for narrow-minded people like you. Either get out of the revolution, or gain back focus. I understand that you’ve been prey to such mindless talks that have been fed to us since our childhood, but we’re smarter and more intellectual than that a bunch of goons. Please.
For the rest of us (as rightly—and sadly, only—pointed out by The New York Times) Indians: we don’t identify ourselves by a religion, or a single culture, or a single language, or such. Religion for us is a set of beliefs, culture is a set of ways we do things, language is only for communication and gender is for records. None of these things is our identity. Our identity is our character; a character that embraces and respects our ecosystem.
Political brownie point moments
It’s common sense that misunderstanding this movement is going to have its repercussions. One such is a statement by our beloved Owaisi Saheb, “Jallikattu protests, lesson for Hindutva forces; Uniform Civil Code cannot be imposed”. Such genius statements can only come from politicians, who are used to blindly believing in what they think is the reality. They’re not to blame, this is the very first quality expected of a politician—connect a wedding ring to the ring around Saturn. Bravo!
Another brownie point moment was some of the political workers attempting to stop a train. I mean, what on earth could such a thing achieve? You’re only worsening the situation. But then, it also only made me respect my fellows out there being part of the revolution, when they said, “We don’t need you. Nobody asked for you, and you’re not welcome to join the movement. Neenga varala nu yaaru azhudha?”
OK, so I’ll keep this one short, but re-iterate: let’s not lose focus on the issue. The issue is not who we are or whether this is communal or not. The issue is that Jallikattu has been wrongly demonised. It should gain back its ground.
Bring in regulations; don’t ban the activity. Jallikattu is not bull-fighting, but bull-taming.