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Monday, November 14, 2016

Toro Jubilo, the burning of the bull ~ plight of animals in India says !!!

India is the famed land of Ramayana.  Great preceptors Shankara, Ramanujacharya, Madwacharya,  Gautama Buddha & Mahaveera  taught peace and patience – but to the Western World, it is a land of snake-charmers, a place where one would encounter cruelty and people are barbaric.  That is what the Western World portrays this holy Nation.  To them, whatever happens here is bad and barbaric !!

Jallikattu (Aeru thazhuvuthal) is a South Indian sport involving bull taming, not exactly comparable with the Western concept - the Spanish running of the bulls. It is held in the villages of Tamil Nadu on the eve of Mattu Pongal, one of the four days of Pongal festival (usually January 15). Those held in Alanganallur & Paalamedu,  near Madurai,  are extremely  popular. The sport has its place in Sangam literature and considered a game of honour.  Unlike its western cousin, the bull is seldom killed and here the matadors do not use any weapons. 

Western Media often reflects the Nation’s image by photos and documentaries showing animal misuse.  According to them, everyday you would see a chained bear or dancing bear on the streets of North India.  The bears caught young are tortured and made to dance, even when rescued, they cannot return to the wild !  ~ then there is the story of elephant’s plight.  The mammoth animal is put to much hardship.  So animal lovers cry and make crowd-funding opening up campaigns for saving the chained elephants.  One such animal was  rescued by a wildlife charity – fittingly on American Independence Day.

Celebrities queue up to save Indian elephants and other animals [for the Westerners empathise with their plight, while natives crudely torture them].  An year or so ago, the Prince Charles   and his wife Camilia launched an ambitious fund-raising drive for the elephants' conservation by putting on auction 20 intricately-designed auto-rickshaws and a 10-foot model elephant named 'Tara'. The auction by Sotheby's in the gardens of Lancaster House helped raise 700,000 pounds (about Rs 6.9 crores).  Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson [Bay watch fame] claimed that an elephant had been kept chained in the dark for seven years at the Jyotiba Temple in Maharashtra. They sent letters to Indian officials urging them to step in and free Sunder,  and were relieved only when they  received the news that the elephant was to be moved to a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre near Bangalore.   

.. One wonders whether the media reporting is not enough or whether such Westerners do not know what is happening in their own backyard ?

In Spanish style, 3 matadors fight two bulls which weigh not less than 500 kgs. They have group of assistants – picadores (lancers) mounted on horseback, flagment who also fight.  The bull enters the ring fiercely, picadors armed with lance stabs the muscle of the bull’s neck, weakening it. Then the bull is attacked with sharp barbed sticks. In the final stage, Matador enters the ring alone with a small red cape and a sword. The bull goes down killed. It is brutally stabbed between the shoulder blades and through the aorta. The matador gets reward of ear, tail etc., for his bravery.

In the Iberian peninsula lies Spain – and there occurs a game (!) where bull is caked in dry mud having fireworks attached to its horns.  The Spanish event, known as the 'Toro Jubilo', was held at the weekend in the village of Medinaceli and is listed by the government as a tradition which needs to be preserved. Footage available in the media at the ceremony in the Spanish village of Medinaceli showed the bull being tied up and covered in dry mud and fireworks attached to its horns.  The animal was then let loose to run through the streets and was later sent to the slaughterhouse.

Animal organisations says the bull was subjected to 13 minutes of terror after a wooden post was put across its horns and balls of fire tied to them before being set alight. PACMA added: 'It would probably have been blinded because of the fire burning its cornea as well as being injured because of its continuous head shaking as it tried to get the wood loose.' The animal organisation says it can find no justification whatsoever for the tradition which it slams as cruel and barbaric. They want it legally banned. The 'toro de fuego' is the only one celebrated in Castile and Leon and would have been prohibited if it did not have 'listed' status as a traditional event.

PACMA says the bull is so terrified that it throws itself against walls to put out the fire and is often burnt and even blinded by the flames.  Though local laws usually ban any activity which would 'hurt, puncture, strike, hold or cruelly treat cattle in any other cruel way' – this game is held every year.   The picture of a  bull writhing in pain with fire in its horns is gruesome !!

Somehow such barbarism does not meet the eye of Champions who are busy saving animals in Asia and other African countries.  They are extremely disturbed the happenings in the sub-continent and their hearts go out for such pains, yet would not utter a single word when it happens in Europe or so called developed countries.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Nov. 2016.

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