‘Cultural heritage shouldn’t be part of judiciary’: Supreme Court upholds validity of Jallikattu


In a significant ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court of India upheld the validity of a law passed by the state of Tamil Nadu, allowing the continuation of the traditional bull-taming sport known as ‘Jallikattu.’ The decision marks a crucial milestone in the preservation of cultural heritage, as the court recognized the importance of striking a balance between tradition and legal considerations.

Jallikattu, a centuries-old tradition deeply rooted in Tamil Nadu’s cultural fabric, had faced legal hurdles due to concerns over animal cruelty. In 2014, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on the sport, citing potential harm to participating animals. However, the Tamil Nadu government introduced regulations in 2017 to address these concerns while ensuring the continuation of the cultural practice.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice, upheld the constitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu law permitting Jallikattu. The court recognized the sport’s cultural significance and acknowledged the state’s efforts to regulate it, striking a balance between safeguarding cultural heritage and addressing animal welfare concerns.

Preserving Cultural Heritage: By validating the Tamil Nadu law, the Supreme Court has highlighted the importance of cultural heritage and traditions within the judicial framework. The ruling signifies the court’s recognition that certain practices carry significant historical, social, and emotional value for communities, requiring careful consideration when assessing their legality.

Public Reaction: The verdict has been met with a mixed response from various stakeholders. Supporters of Jallikattu have hailed the decision as a triumph for cultural rights and expressed relief that their cherished tradition will continue. Animal rights activists, on the other hand, have expressed concerns about the potential for animal cruelty despite the regulatory measures.

Regulatory Measures: The Tamil Nadu government’s law includes several provisions aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of both animals and participants. These measures involve strict guidelines for the conduct of Jallikattu events, including veterinary supervision, banning the use of sharp objects, and penalties for any violation of animal welfare standards.

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Tamil Nadu law allowing Jallikattu acknowledges the significance of cultural heritage while addressing concerns over animal welfare. This ruling sets a precedent for future cases involving the preservation of traditional practices within the legal framework. The delicate balance struck by the court between tradition and legal considerations opens avenues for further dialogue and exploration of such complex issues.


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