Congress party does a backflip on its policy against animal cruelty as Rahul Gandhi attended a Jallikattu event in Madurai, Tamil Nadu on Thursday. Rahul Gandhi defied the official stand of Congress party and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who termedJallikattu, a traditional sport involving young men taming the bull during the festival of Pongal, a cruel form of entertainment.
In tweet shared in Tamil, Rahul Gandhi had announced that “Happy Pongal to All. I am coming to Tamil Nadu today to celebrate Pongal with you. I am participating in the Jallikattu festival in Madurai.”
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had termed Jallikattu a cruel form of entertainment, saying we have to discourage bullfights that provide a cruel form of entertainment.
Congress has had a long history of opposing Jallikattu, starting in 2011, when the Ministry of Environment and Forest under the Congress-led UPA Government had proscribed using bull in Jallikattu or other festivals in general. The festival still carried on using bulls under Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act. Three years later, the Supreme Court again banned Jallikattu after striking down the State’s Act in 2014. Congress made big hue and cry when Jallikattu still continued to be celebrated, calling it contempt of the Supreme Court till 2017.
The BJP Government, in 2017, supported the Tamil Nadu Government in passing a bill exempting Jallikattu from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, following which the first legal Jallikattu was celebrated in February 2017.
Erstwhile Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Jairam Ramesh had also hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling against Jallikattu. He condemned BJP for supporting Jallikattu.