Competitors try to tame a bull during
Jallikattu organised as a part of Pongal celebrations at
Alanganallore village in Madurai. Credit: PTI
London/Colombo: Protests demanding a reversal on the ban
on the bull-taming sport Jallikattu have spread beyond India, with
the Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka, UK and Australia holding
Hundreds of UK based Indian Tamils have come together to
organise a series of protests in favour of Jallikattu this week in
London and across the UK.
The protest group includes London Tamil Sangam, World Tamil
Organisation and British South Indians. They held protests outside
the Indian high commission in London on January 17 and January 18.
Further protests are being planned in the city of Leeds in UK and
Dublin in Ireland.
“Hundreds have been turning out to highlight that Jallikattu is
part of our tradition and identity. We are also working on a major
hunger-strike this weekend to raise awareness around the issue in
the UK. We are expecting over 1,000 people to join that protest,” a
spokesperson for the protest group told PTI.
Protesters have been carrying placards and chanting slogans in
Tamil that say, ‘We need Jallikattu’ and ‘Jallikattu is our
The group has also prepared a petition for the Indian high
commission, which reads, “We, Indians living in the UK, have
consistently shown our support to the conduct of Jallikattu in
Tamil Nadu. We are gathered here to morally support our brothers
and sisters that are leading the peaceful protestations in
Alanganallur, Madurai district of Tamil Nadu.”
Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, a protest was held in the Tamil
dominated northern capital of Jaffna, yesterday.
Hundreds of people held placards saying ‘Why ban it when it is
our culture’ and ‘This is a valued tradition lets permit it’.
The Australian Tamil community has also joined the ongoing
protest against the ban on Jallikattu by holding peaceful
demonstrations in Melbourne and Sydney, while further protests are
“Jallikattu is an ancient and traditional Tamil sport. The seals
of the Indus Valley civilisation depict it, which is proof that
this sport was in vogue more than five, six thousand years ago –
why ban it now? It is like taking away a part...