- NL Sena
The #makkalmovement gained momentum in Tamil Nadu overnight. And even as the state police is struggling to control the protesters at Marina beach, there is trouble brewing in the neighbouring state. Taking cue from Tamil Nadu’s movement to life ban on Jallikattu, activists, actors and politicians in Karnataka have taken it upon themselves to lift the ban on their traditional sport, Kambala.
Kambala, essentially a buffalo race, is a sport held in the coastal districts of Karnataka between November and March. The Karnataka High court had stayed the conduct of the sport in November last year, but protests have erupted in the capital seeking the ban to be lifted. While their movement hasn’t gained the kind of attention Jallikattu did, supporters are contemplating on organising a large-scale protest in Bengaluru on January 28, before the case will heard at the High Court on January 30.
Gunapal Kadamba, a senior member of the Dakshina Kannada-Udupi Kambala organising committee said that the protests were going to be peaceful. “Our stir will be peaceful and for only one day. We will demand removal of the ban on Kambala”, he said. However, today, activist Vattal Nagaraj and his supporters were detained for staging a protest that caused traffic snarls in the city.
Expressing support and solidarity, Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit president BS Yeddyurappa said that “I am certain that the court will take a holistic view in light of developments that have taken place with regard to jallikattu”, he said.
And like Kollywood stars, even Sandalwood stars have joined hands to save the traditional sport. Actor Jaggesh opined that Kanndigas needed to unite like Tamilians to save the sport. Bangalore Mirror reported him as saying, “Like Tamilians, we have to show our unity and protect it. There is a lack of unity among Kannadigas”, he said. “I don’t care if anyone disagrees, I support Kambala. It is our tradition and no one has the right to stop it”, he added.
Even Kambala supporters are up in arms against the PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) claiming that no cruelty is involved in the sport and that the buffaloes are treated well. So, will the Kannadigas be able to save their tradition and pride now that jallikattu movement has won?