One of the biggest protest ever in TN (Tamil Nadu) by lakhs of students, youngsters and everyone from children’s to senior citizens joined their hands for a week, to amend PCA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960) and allow TN to conduct the famous Tamil heroic game Jallikattu – ஏறுதழுவல் by lifting the ban brought by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) saying it as a cruelty to animals.
Hundreds to lakhs …
Breaking news from media, telecasting several people have started protesting in various places in TN starting from Madurai (Alanganallur, famous for Jallikattu), Coimbatore, Trichy and in Chennai. To amend PCA and lift the ban on Jallikattu was the only point among protestors. Hundreds of youngsters and students gathered in opposite to Vivekananda Memorial in Marina beach giving their voices. After my office hours, I went on the same day with my friends to support them. I could see the power of youngsters and some students with hundreds of police along with us where the higher officials in Police department spoke to us. Meanwhile, some from our protester had a talk with TN Ministers and none was satisfied, the protest continued.
Protest to one side, there were people who keep distributing water packets, bottles and food packets for the protestors. So many girls participated on the same day, with the help of their friends and they feel safe in sleeping over there. They were among the strangers and yet perceived safe. Some even gave us bedsheets, could see the unity among us.
Next day morning I went back to the office and could see lots of people giving hands to the protest in news, going bigger. I went back to join protest after my office hours and to my surprise, there are people in triple the amount than the previous day. Around one hundred thousand of people gathered in Marina. When govt. tried to block the power supply to that area, giving us difficult times, there comes a flashlight from the mobile from people made that night a day. Here the image goes.
The protest is getting stronger. Now it’s time for the students to take over. On the 3rd day, students boycotted their classes and gave their presence. From the third day, it becomes the historic protest where seven hundred thousand of people gathered in Marina for Jallikattu.
It was such an enthusiastic protest I would say. Talented peoples showcasing their art with people surrounding them and you could see Music, Drums, Dance, Slogan-shouting and passionate speeches everywhere. Silambattam was one such event where I saw even children’s playing with those big sticks, getting mass attention. Reliance JIO has set a temporary tower in Marina for easy access to the internet where tonnes of pictures and videos flooded in WhatsApp and Facebook and went viral. Energies in each person and some strong voices from the group made people engaging, carrying over the protest for next few days.
We don’t know how it all started. Giving our voices to amend PCA and lift the ban on Jallikattu changed into scolding politicians. Mostly all people started holding boards and charts representing politicians very badly. It took us in a wrong way. We have a Right to Freedom of speech and give critics but those things made many sad. Our Cheif Minister MR. O PANNER SELVAM travelled to Delhi, explaining the conditions happening in TN to our Prime Minister MR. NARENDRA MODI and the pressure from protest made TN create a new law amending PCA with our President approval, also made Center to approve and pass the bill. Many celebrities who supported us, requested us to withdraw the protest since it looks favourable from our side, the protest still goes on …
Lakhs to hundreds and tears
TN unanimously passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017. CM MR. O PANNER SELVAM delivered his speech to presspersons and asked us to leave. No one gave up the protest since we were said that, this is only a temporary act to conduct Jallikattu as of now. The whole decided not to give up, seeking lifetime relief. Now the situation got worse. On last day (23rd Jan 2017) early morning, police started dispersing protestors and get them arrested. Even they lathe charged, not even considering women’s, beating everyone and created a congestion among people.
Many students, giving up the protest, decided to leave last day night and there were only thousands of people left by Monday morning. Taking grant of this situation, above things happened in some hours. Protesters started moving towards the beach, and even some went inside beach and created panic among everyone. Fisher men’s, like God, helped everyone who was on the beach with their boats and some were even holding flags in the boat, brought tears to everyone. The final group, finally only will be in hundreds, holding the big flag representing a Bigger bull on the seashore, still gets goosebumps when realizing those moments. The scenario which I have in my mind now represents the below image. (source: internet)
Ends with violence
Many places were set with fire, created violence all around Chennai. One police officer was caught in the camera, setting the auto in a fire which leads to heavy critics for the whole police act. Many voices raised against police officers even after the protest. State legislative constituted a special bench with retired judge S RAJESWARAN as chief to probe the arson and submit a report says CM OPS, the case is still in the investigation as of today (Nov 12, 2017).
Chennai City Police Commissioner issued prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPc to preserve law and order in the city to bring down the violence, the same day.
Finally, they ended our protest with lathes(stick used by police), tear gases, fire everywhere and arrest, saying like, this is what happens when you mess with us. Every student and youngster dispersed with pain and tears. But I guarantee that you could see nowhere, the sense of pride in our language, literature, and culture, we have. Each one, who took part in the protest know that feel and this is not the end.
It’s another beginning …
Some things to observe from Jallikattu …
A policeman named Maayazagu, to our surprise, gave his voice supporting Jallikattu among people during the protest. As a govt. employee, he raised his voice against Government. At that time, Mylapore Joint Commissioner Balakrishnan claimed no action will be taken against him as he expressed his views and he has rights to do that. But later, action has been taken against him under clause 3B after 10 months from the incident. Source below.
Respected Mr. Mayilvaganan, Deputy Commissioner of Police
Why people in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Madurai didn’t get an officer like him. The excellence of speech committed by him turned over students with a clear thought of what’s going to happen if the protest is continued to the protestors. It was a victory for students and you can go back to your homes, said DC with his practical speech. He further said, some Anti-Social elements is directing students and this protest is totally going in the wrong direction and nothing should happen around for both the protestors and people in Trichy district. We, bit more experienced than you, in this field knows where this will end, and this was a report from Vigilance, he explained.
His speech was especially a hint for all the protestors and respecting him, withdrawn their protest with a smiling handshake to him. Like he mentioned, the protest comes to an end in the same way as in Chennai. It was still not clear since even the Police officer engaged in violence as mentioned above, which was caught in the video and many claimed it is only the Police department created this violence. The case is on and we don’t want to go further.
Later, Mr Mayilvaganan, awarded for his excellent work from our then CM OPS.
Update (20 Nov, 2017)
The commission formed to inquire into the causes of violence occurred during Jallikattu protest across various parts of TN has been granted it’s the third extension, asked to submit the report by January 31, 2018.
Few Quotes I found interesting during Protest
- We are Indians only for 100 years but we are Tamilians for 5000 years.
- Save Jallikattu, It’s our culture.
- இப்படை தோற்கின் எப்படை வெல்லும்.