Jallikattu in 2021... TN Govt pours a huge relief! What's in the govt's order?

The Tamil State government has on Wednesday issued an order of permitting the Jallikattu event in January 2021 in the state with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and certain restrictions. The development has come at a high time when the government was surfaced with the expectations on whether the historical event would unfold as scheduled during the Pongal holidays, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

According to reports, the government has issued the order for conducting the event, which would see the first-of-its-kind restrictions that it hasn't used to previously. With fighting to curb the COVID-19 spread, the state government has issued the order of permitting the bravery sport with certain restrictions and it had directed the stakeholders to strictly adhere to the guidelines and protocols. 

Through the order, the government has said that not more than 300 people should participate in the Jallikattu events. The government has restricted the grounds of a large gathering to watch the event and it has said that, based on the capacity of the venue, only 50% of people should be allowed to watch the event directly. The spectaculars should only be allowed into the venue after a thermal screening to check their temperature. 

The players who are participating in the event must undergo the COVID-19 testing at the government certified testing facility and they should prove that they hadn't contracted the viral infection. The government had directed the spectaculars to wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols during the event. The government has further said that it would be issuing the complete standard operating procedures concerning the Jallikattu event soon. 

Jallikattu is one of the traditional and historical events of Tamil Nadu and it has largely been practiced in several parts of the state, with Madurai being popular, as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day, which occurs annually in January. The event is governed by Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Federation and local organizing committees and being dubbed as a disputed event, a bull would be released into a crowd of people and hundreds of people would attempt to grab the large hump on the bull's back and would try to take the bull under their control. 

In the wake of many incidents of injuries and deaths and after the bulls were forced into the sport, the animal rights organizations have demanded the government to ban the sport and the court had banned the sport over the past years. However, after a series of protests against the ban and court order, the sport has been continuing with a new ordinance that was passed in 2017. The government has now permitted the event based on the ordinance and based on the COVID-19 protocols. 

The Jallikkattu federation has welcomed the government's order of conducting the event. Speaking to a news agency, President of Alanganallur Jallikattu Organizing Committee J Sundararajan said that the government's decision of permitting the event comes as a huge relief as they were concerned if the sporting event would be granted permission due to the COVID-19 outbreak".