Colombo, January 19 (The New Indian Express): Though there is no Jallikattu tradition in Sri Lankan Tamil villages, the Tamils of Sri Lanka have enthusiastically joined the Jallikattu restoration movement now going on in Tamil Nadu by organizing demonstrations in support of it.
Jallikattu is a ritual rural sport associated with the annual Tamil festival of Thai Pongal. It involves the taming of a recalcitrant bull in front of a crowd of villagers. It is considered an ancient Tamil sport which is part and parcel of the agricultural festival of Pongal.
On Wednesday, a demonstration was held by Junior Rotarians opposite the Nallur Kandswamy temple in Jaffna. A call has been given to attend a similar demonstration in Chavakachcheri on Saturday.
According to reliable sources, some North Sri Lankan provincial ministers and members of the Northern Provincial Council are behind the demonstrations as they see them as a strategy to win over the Tamil Nadu Tamils to the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Tamils believe that the rise of ‘Tamil’ consciousness in Tamil Nadu as a result of the ban on Jallikattu, augurs well for the Sri Lankan Tamils who are now in search of allies given the fact that the LTTE is no longer there to give them a feeling of strength.
Sri Lankan Tamils have adopted the strategy of taking an active interest in Tamil Nadu’s affairs after the decimation of the LTTE in Eelam War IV in 2009. Dependence on Tamil Nadu for political support was much less during the period when the supremely self confident LTTE was ruling the roost in the Tamil-speaking areas.
A section of local Tamil leaders told Express that Sri Lankan Tamils must take up the cause of the Tamil Nadu Tamils whenever possible, to express their gratitude for the support Sri Lankan Tamils have consistently received from the people of Tamil Nadu since 1983.
They point out that five doctors had gone to Chennai to treat people when the city was flooded. An all-party delegation had submitted a memorandum to the Indian Consulate General when Tamils were attacked in Karnataka over the Cauvery issue. When Chief Minster J.Jayalalithaa passed away, the Northern Provincial Council passed a condolence resolution.
(The featured image at the top shows two Tamil Nadu village youths trying to subdue a recalcitrant bull in the Jallikattu ritual)