After protests in Tamil Nadu successfully brought back jallikattu to the state, Karnataka wants to bring back the buffalo-racing sport of kambala. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said his government supported the practice and urged the Centre to supportt it, as it did jallikattu, The Indian Express reported.
Groups in Dakshina Kannada district have been demanding that the ban on kambala, imposed by the Karnataka High Court on November 22 last year, be revoked. Buffalo racing was barred after animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a petition against the practice.
“We are in favour of kambala the same way the Tamil Nadu government has been in favour of jallikatu,” Siddaramaiah said. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has a strong presence in Dakshina Kannada, announced that it supported kambala and has urged the state government to intervene in the matter.
Dakshina Kannada groups have called for a pro-kamabala protest on January 28.
The buffalo races were conducted between November and March in the paddy fields of Dakshina Kannada. Organisations that fall under a joint Kambala Committee claim that the traditional sport has been around for more than seven centuries and preparing for them involved rearing special high-breed buffaloes.
In its verdict, the Karnataka High Court had observed: “All animals are not anatomically designed to be performing animals…[and] unavoidable activities causing pain and suffering to animals must be avoided.”
On Monday, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a Bill to replace the ordinance on jallikattu, which will revoke the Supreme Court-imposed ban on the bull-taming sport. The move marked a major victory for jallikattu supporters, who had launched statewide protests in Tamil Nadu against the ban.