Ahead of the Pongal festival, the Tamil Nadu government Wednesday issued guidelines permitting Jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport, across the state. The event will be held with Covid-19 guidelines in place to curb the spread of the virus.
As per the guidelines, only 300 bull tamers will be permitted to take part in Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu, and Vadamadu events. In erudhu vidum vizha (traditional bull races), only 150 racers will be allowed to participate. All the players will have to undergo Covid-19 tests and, only after they test negative, will be allowed to participate.
Spectators will be allowed to witness the event with 50 per cent of the total capacity of the open spaces. “All spectators will be subjected to thermal screening. Other precautionary measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are mandatory,” the guidelines stated.
Over the years, the sport has been marred by controversy. While animal welfare organisations have been calling for a ban on the “barbaric” event, political parties have come out in support of it claiming it represented “Tamil pride”, and was a way to preserve native breeds of the bull.
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