Jallikattu, a traditional bull-taming sport, holds cultural significance during the Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu. The event has been a subject of debate due to concerns about animal cruelty. The Supreme Court of India banned Jallikattu in 2014, citing violations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. However, protests erupted across Tamil Nadu, demanding the lifting of the ban to preserve the cultural heritage associated with Jallikattu. In response to the public outcry, the Tamil Nadu government passed an amendment in 2017 to allow Jallikattu under certain regulations.
In May 2023, the Supreme Court upheld the 2017 amendment, recognising the historical and cultural significance of Jallikattu while considering the welfare of animals and legislative authority. The court emphasised that the amendment did not violate constitutional rights or fundamental duties, including the duty to protect the environment. The judgment reflected a balanced approach, respecting cultural traditions while upholding legal frameworks and constitutional principles.The debate surrounding Jallikattu highlights the delicate balance between cultural customs and animal rights. It also underscores the evolving societal values and the need for thoughtful decision-making. The recent ruling acknowledges the legislative activity surrounding Jallikattu and affirms the importance of cultural heritage. It signifies the significance of respecting traditions while ensuring the welfare of animals and upholding constitutional values.
Overall, the Jallikattu issue showcases the complexities surrounding cultural practices and the consideration of animal welfare. The Supreme Court's decision aims to strike a balance between tradition and compassion, demonstrating the ongoing evolution of societal norms and the need for a nuanced approach in resolving such disputes.