Untamed Jallikattu a big draw at Rangampet

Untamed Jallikattu a big draw at Rangampet
Highlights

The ageold traditional practice of Jallikattu, involving the taming of a raging bull amidst a crescendo of roaring cries of adrenalinepumped spectators, was conducted on Wednesday observed as Kanuma, on the third day of Sankranti festivities with religious fervour in many villages across the district

Tirupati: The age-old traditional practice of Jallikattu, involving the taming of a raging bull amidst a crescendo of roaring cries of adrenaline-pumped spectators, was conducted on Wednesday observed as Kanuma, on the third day of Sankranti festivities with religious fervour in many villages across the district.

Thousands of villagers, residents as well as others who had come to witness the spectacle, enjoyed the ragging of the animals and the turbo-charged race at Rangampet village of Chandragiri mandal as well as at Kanchan Balla village in Kuppam constituency represented by CM N Chandrababu Naidu.

Jallikattu was banned by the Supreme Court of India on May 7, 2014. However, the ban could not be implemented effectively due to overwhelming public support for the traditional sport, particularly in Tamil Nadu, where people are more than willing to risk resultant injuries and the administration in some districts enrolled participants in mandatory life insurance.

On Wednesday, most of the visitors came in large numbers from Chittoor and Kadapa districts, apart from villages bordering Bengaluru and Chennai, to watch the bulls race at Rangampet, 20 km from here, as it was a major attraction among several such events held in many villages like Nagaigaripalli, Dornakambala, PullaigariPall and Kotala in Chandragiri mandal the same day. Chandrababu Naidu’s hometown Naravari Palli is located about one km from Rangampet.

As part of Kanuma festival, Rangampet villagers turned up fully prepared for watching the raging bulls. Every year on Kanuma day farmers let loose their animals, one by one, right in the middle of the village after decorating them. This year Rangampet bull race was held from 1 pm to 3 pm. People lined up on both sides of the narrow roads. There were others who had climbed on to the top of buildings for vantage view.

Jallikattu is a traditional sport where a bull is released into a crowd of participants. Contenders need to grab the large hump on the bull's back with both their arms and hold on as long as they can, while the bull attempts to break free from the grip of multiple participants. The objective is to remove the maximum number of flags tied at the bull's horns while holding on to its hump. Those who come out of the arena victorious get awards.

It is a different matter that some of the participants, mostly youth, sustain injuries while chasing the raging bulls. At times, even spectators get hurt when the bulls charge through crowds during the event. This year, more than 12 batches of bulls ran through the narrow village roads amidst loud cheers, whistles, loud drumbeats – all designed to irritate the animals and make them charge at breakneck speed.

In this connection, Tirupati Urban police drafted additional police personnel for bandobust. Noticeably, in the view of Assembly elections 2019, TDP and YSRC leaders also supported the bull race across the villages. TDP Chandragiri MLA Candidate Pulivarthy Nani witnessed Jallikattu and greeted local people on Sankranti festival.

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