Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday permitted the conduct of Jallikattu, a popular traditional bull-taming sport in the State, during the Pongal festival with stringent Covid-19 safety norms in place. The government made it mandatory for both the bull owners and their assistants who register their animals for the sport and the tamers, as well, to produce a fully vaccinated certificate besides RT-PCR test negative report at least 48 hours before the event.
They would be provided identity cards to participate in the event, a government order passed on Monday said. “Only the bull owner and its trainer would be allowed during the registration. Those with valid identity cards provided by the district administration, alone, will be allowed inside the arena,” the GO said.
Like last year, for the Jallikattu 2022, too, the government restricted the number of spectators to 150 in open spaces or 50 per cent of the seating capacity (whichever is less). “Spectators should also produce fully vaccinated against Covid-19 certificate and RT-PCR negative report, two days before the event,” the government order said and added that strict social distancing norms will be enforced.
It further directed the organisers and the participants to refrain from harming the bulls that take part in Jallikattu. “Owing to Covid-19, only 300 tamers would be allowed to participate in the Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu and Vadamadu,” it said.
Jallikattu (or sallikkattu), also known as eru thazhuvuthal and mañcuvirattu, is a traditional event in which a bull such as the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds are released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to grab the large hump on the bull’s back with both arms and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape. Participants hold the hump for as long as possible, attempting to bring the bull to a stop. In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags on the bull’s horns.
(With Inputs from PTI)