Oscar-winning composer and musician AR Rahman has said he will fast on Friday in support of the pro-jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu. The music producer-singer announced his stand on the bull-taming games on Twitter, saying he supports the spirit of the state.
A number of Tamil actors, too, have voiced their support for jallikattu and also criticised animal rights NGO People for Ethical Treatment of Animals for opposing the practice.
In a statement shared on social media, Suriya said “It is paradoxical to see those aiding extinction of native breeds talk about cruelty to bulls,” he said, referring to the contention that banning jallikattu will affect the population of native bulls. “Protests by the youth reflects the common mood of the people of Tamil Nadu. These protests will bear fruit, and jallikattu will happen soon in Tamil Nadu.”
Other big names in Kollywood, including Rajinikanth, Vijay, Ajith and Vishal, also came out in support of jallikattu and the protests demanding that the Supreme Court-imposed ban be revoked.
Actor Vishal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying jallikattu was an “integral part” of Tamil tradition and “very important for the growth and sustainability of rural Tamil Nadu”. “As an animal lover, I can vouch that the bulls in jallikattu are not subjected to cruelty in any means,” he said in the letter.
In a video message, Vijay hailed the statewide agitation in Tamil Nadu, saying they were being staged “without any political differences”. He also reiterated the call to ban PETA. “Tamil Nadu will rejoice if it is sent back.”
On Friday, Rajinikanth had said that the festival should be held as it is part of Tamil culture. “Bring in whatever rules, but jallikattu must be held to keep up the traditions of our Tamil culture.”
Thousands have been gathered at Chennai’s Marina Beach since Tuesday night, demanding that the Supreme Court revoke its ban on jallikattu. Protestors said they will not move from the location till their demand is met. They also want PETA banned. Agitations are on across Tamil Nadu, with supporters of the bull-taming sport all demanding that they be allowed to organise the sport.