Mangaluru: The fifth year Jodukere Kambala event in memory of the late Jayagangadhara Shetty, organized by Jaya-Vijaya Jodukere Kambala committee was held on the Netravati river bank at Jeppinamogaru here on February 14.
The Kambla races have always been a source of entertainment in Mangaluru, where the strength and skills of one team are pitted against the other and the better man or in this case the better buffalo wins.
The buffaloes are given a wash before the race so that their black hides gleam in the sun. They are also decorated with fancy ropes and leaves. Before the race, each buffalo is examined and its health and age determined according to its teeth. The junior category is identified as having 6 teeth and the senior category is identified as having 8 teeth.
The Jaya-Vijaya Jodukere Kambala was inaugurated by lighting the traditional lamp by the dignitaries in the morning.
MLA of Mangaluru South Constituency J R Lobo speaking on the occasion said, “It is a great opportunity for us to retain our traditional sports. There was fear that the village sports will vanish and will not continue for future generations to enjoy. But after seeing such sports we can be assured that the village sports are still alive and people of Mangaluru still retain their culture and tradition.
According to the court order we have been given permission to continue the Kambala. In Tulunadu we have various traditions and Kambala is one among the traditional sports. Our elders have continued our traditional sports and we have to retain it.”
He further said, “From the beginning I have attended this Kambala. I am a ardent lover of Kambala, When I was in Pilikula we used to organize Kambala and for 6 years under the government aid we have organized it. The former district minister in-charge Krishna J Palemar had supported us a lot. It had the government stamp but from three years for some reasons we were unable to start the Kambala. Till I was in Pilikula I continued the Kambala and I urge the district administration to continue the Kambala at Pilikula”.
Krishna J Palemar speaking on the occasion said, “When I was in power I, was supporting the Kambala because it is a tradition of Tulunadu. Kambala is a traditional sport and the government was trying to put a ban on Kambala. When there was a ban to organize Kambala we all forgetting party politics joined hands to start the Kambala and have now succeeded. To organize the Kambala is not an easy task, we have sanctioned funds from the government for the Kambala. I even spoke about holding the cock fight, because it is a traditional sport. Government should bring a law to hold traditional sports and Kambala should go on”, he said.
District Youth Congress President Mithun Rai speaking on the occasion said that when there was a ban on Kambala, people from all walks of life protested against the decision of the central government. Menaka Gandhi is also trying to put a ban on Kambala but we have to fight against such politics unitedly to retain the Kambala. We all should join hands to retain our traditional sport of Tulunadu.
Rohit Hegde, Jagadish Shetty Maravoor, Bhasker Subbayya Kotian, Sureshchandra Shetty, Praveenchandra Alva, Devicharan Shetty, Madhav Naik Adyar, Prakash Salian, Ajith Kumar Rai Maladi, ACP Kalyan Shetty, Jayaram Shekhar, Dinesh Bekal, Ramanand Poojary, Muralidhar Udupa, Anil Shetty and others were also present.