Mangaluru: The decision of the Central Government to lift the ban on Jallikattu (bull-taming sport)- a popular traditional sport of Tamil Nadu, and Kambala (wetland buffalo race)- a popular traditional sport of Dakshina Kannada has resulted in people celebrating and cheering the good news in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, especially DK. The Kambala organizers and lovers in the undivided DK district have welcomed the move of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issuing a gazette notification, dated 7 January 2016, allowing Jallikattu in TN and similar other traditional bull/buffalo related sports in other parts of the country, by altering a notification issued in 2011.
Kambala- a Traditional Wetland Buffalo Race in DK
According to Bhaskar Kotian-Kambala Samithi Honorary president, “Kambala is a tradition of Tulunadu which has a history of over five centuries. We are happy that the government has issued a notification which would help us organise Kambala without any interruption. We believe this notification was because of God’s blessings. We are thankful to the state and Central government who ensured that the tradition of Kambala continues without any problem”. Speaking to media persons. Gunapala Kadamba- DK and Udupi District Kambala Samithi Honorary Advisor said, ” Kambala is a traditional sport, in the same time it is a ritual to prepare the field for sowing. It is a tradition which has been carried on for the last 600-700 years”
” I thank the Union minister DV Sadanand Gowda and other representatives from DK and Udupi districts for their support and fight in trying to lift the ban on these Bull/buffalo sports. In the past, people used to have buffalo race after the cultivation of second crop of paddy. Modern Kambala was started at Bajagoli near Karkala, named Lava-Kusha Kambala in 1969-70. These race buffaloes are treated with care and love, and the owners see that they don’t harmed during the race. We are strictly against cruelty towards animals. Around 24-25 Kambala races are held in two districts between November and April- and this decision by the Centre is good news for the organizers to plan ahead of this sport. We will direct the organizers to take all measures to ensure that there is no violence during Kambala. If the government has given any direction on how to organise the event, we will follow it,” added Kadamba.
Jallikattu- a Traditional Bull-Taming Sport in Tamil Nadu
While on the other hand, Suma Nayak- Trustee of Animal Care Trust-Mangaluru has said, ” Animal activists here are unhappy with the green signal given to Jallikattu by the Union government. This notification issued by the MoEF on the issue of Jallikattu is illegal and is a violation of order of the country’s highest law.
Following the Supreme Court’s order on Jallikattu, the Animal Welfare Board of India had asked the district administration not to allow Kambala in Udupi and DK district in 2014 (Even though there was no specific Court order banning Kambala). When the district administration tried to stop Kambala, the organisers approached the court and got the green signal.
As per the notification, the Kambala should be held under strict conditions, and the event shall take place in any district where it is being traditionally held annually and the organizers have to take permission from the Deputy Commissioner. The organizers should ensure that the animals are put to proper testing by the authorities of the animal husbandry and veterinary department and are not given performance-enhancement drugs. The event should be duly monitored by the District Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and State Animal Welfare Board or the district authorities to ensure that no unnecessary pain or suffering is caused to the animals.