Jallikattu – Part 1


Jallikattu – Part 1

#GS-01 Indian Heritage and Culture

For Prelims


  • Jallikattu is typically practised in the state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day, which occurs annually in January.
  • The sport is played in an open ground where a bull is let loose amid hordes of people who try to control the bull by piling on its hump or horns.
  • Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls.
  • Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.

Historical Evidences of the Sport:

  • This traditional sport emerged in 400 BC100 BC, and was enjoyed by the people who lived in the Mullai division of prehistoric Tamilnadu.
  • A seal from the Indus Valley civilization depicting the practice is preserved in the National Museum, New Delhi.
  • A cave painting in white kaolin discovered near Madurai depicting a lone man trying to control a bull is estimated to be about 1,500 years old.


For Mains

Legal Concerns:

  • Jallikattu first came under legal scrutiny in 2007 when the Animal Welfare Board of India and the animal rights group PETA moved petitions in the Supreme Court against Jallikattu as well as bullock cart races.
  • In 2011, the Centre added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition is prohibited.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court banned Jallikattu, citing the 2011 notification.
  • Tamil Nadu government used Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017 to overcome the ban.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it is pending now.

Source “T.N. counters argument that animals, like persons, are protected by Constitution