Jallikattu And The Coke Side of Life

Internet, Society

I don’t know about you, but if I had the ability to travel into future, I would definitely avoid the seven days of warfare between the good and the substantially lesser good. The ending is predictable. They lay in open books. Etched in history. And they bound to repeat themselves. Trust me; you are not missing anything.

For the past four days (since January 14th, 2017), around 6000 people, mostly youngsters are in protest against what they refer to as Multi-national Corporate Structures with Hidden Agendas (McSHA). And they are camping out on streets. In pouring rain, in scorching heat. The immediate pressing gain would be to lift the ban against a popular sport played in southern villages of Tamil Nadu called Jallikkattu, which is seen as a resistance to oblige to the rules of domesticated, genetically-engineered animals imported from foreign countries. The ban is three years old. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals made it happen. The pen’s ink is long-dried. The papers signed were long-forgotten. The sun had set countless times since then. But every time a new year dawns, as earth begins its next journey into the icy, cold darkness, people of Tamil Nadu become cerebrally conscious of dark-coat adorned, pale-faced corporate people meeting in their dark rooms in the top-most suites of hotels all around the world with their briefcases full of glossy papers that are titled “11 Ways To Fuck Tamil Nadu With Our Hidden Agendas” (No. 9 is my favorite). Click-baits.

A bull is released from its captivity. And it runs through the crowd like an unbolted bullet from barrel. We can only imagine what seems so interesting to the running animal that it has to pelt humans high into the air to reach it. It’s very much alike American football: there is an army of brave humans against a lonely bull running toward touch-down.

There are no rules. There is no arena. No half-breaks. No Coca-cola to buy. And definitely no referee.

There is only one angry bull with sharpened horns. And hundreds of stomachs to pillage and burn. Lungs to carve out. Eyes to gorge out.

This is the game that will protect the three-thousand-year-old Tamil Culture. This seems to be the only lifeline to reach into the past, to remember the echoes of marble-carved architectural wonders Pallavas built; the tall, majestic pagodas cholas christined to worship the ever-lasting eternity that is Shiva; Sangam literature pieces that went on to be the most-read non-religious texts to be translated in over 60 languages around the world.

THE only way to honor all these is if we let bulls run past men. Do you even how know ridiculous you sound? If, even for a year the games do not happen, the Brihadeeshwara temple will destroy in upon itself. How pathetic should our culture be, if angry animals throwing out doughboys are the only ones to save it? And obviously, what other way to justify this other than explaining the name origin? It is not bull-fighting, it is bull-hugging.

Unsurprisingly, people who want animals to be safe are the enemies. Actress Trisha was driven into a teary frenzy for supporting animal welfare. Actor Dhanush was picked on publicly several times, until he has to swallow down his own identity. It’s immensely worrisome that people justify their actions on various platforms, even national TV. We take things too personally. Like we are bruised somehow every time a PETA activist breathes into oblivion. Why do we feel the need to tend to the wounds, when there are none that exists?

We are to evolve. That is what all living beings that are to exist in this world do best. A single, inter-woven machinery that tells the stories of our past through our DNA. Whether we like it or not, new seasons come in, new brain-cells pop in, a new cycle of carbon transition takes place somewhere in the world. It does not make sense to crave for fresh air, when we shut every window, latch every latch. Windows No. 1, Coca-cola provides millions of jobs all around India and no consumer is asked to drink it upon gun-point. Just like it is in our interests to let the games happen to preserve our culture, PETA can also fight for what it believes to be the right thing. This is how democracy works. We are not to be blindfolded to the beliefs of minorities just because we don’t like them. In our books, we are not taught to shut down voices that tell things other than what we want to hear. We invited globalization into our system–we would have perished otherwise. Millions of radio-waves bearing echoes of Tamil language are being sent out on their never-ending voyages into space every day. Almost all of us are being able to provide for our families because of the interference by a globalized tendency to share between cultures, beliefs, and interests. In each attempt, Tamil language and culture only extends one step farther.

Tamil Nadu needs attention in this leaderless time. Like a recalcitrant child in need of its mother’s affection (no pun intended). We can only hope it garners the spotlight in the very near future, enjoys its moment of fame, then puts on a glossy tie, check its reflection in mirror for one last time, before strapping on the briefcase and be on its way to work for the dark-coat adorned men, who meet in dark rooms.

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