He even warned “those who run rough shod” over Tamil culture.
“It was quite a lovely experience to see Tamil culture, history in action. I’m happy that Jallikattu is being organised in a systematic and safe way that both the bull and the youngsters are safe and everybody is being taken care of,” he said after the event.
“I have received tremendous love and affection from the people of Tamil Nadu and it is my duty to stand with them and protect their history, culture and language,” he added.
I have come here as I think Tamil culture, language and history are essential for India’s future & need to be respected. I’ve come here to give a message to those who think that they can run roughshod over Tamil people, can push aside Tamil language and Tamil culture, he said.
What was Congress’ previous stance?
Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Jallikattu event marks a U-turn of the grand old party, as in 2011, the PA government at the Centre had banned the festival stating that it amounted to cruelty against animals. A decade later, Rahul Gandhi occupying a place at the controversial even, may have left many baffled. The change in stance comes at a time when the south Indian state is bustling with politics ahead of the upcoming assembly elections.
In 2011, when Jairam Ramesh was environment minister, the ministry issues a notification banning the use of bulls as performing animals in the festivals. The sports however continued under the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act. In 2014, SC put a ban on the sports stating that bulls cannot be used as performing animals.
In 2016, the Centre paved the way for the sports as it issued a notification lifting the ban. The SC also delayed its verdict over Centre’s lifting of ban, to prevent unrest.
What does BJP say?
TheBharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed Congress over Rahul’s Madurai visit for Jallikattu and has termed it as party’s “double standards”. It reminded how it was Congress which had been opposing Jallikattu till 2016 and had mentioned that it would ban the bull sport in their 2016 manifesto for Tamil Nadu.