Tamil Diplomat

‘We’ll Collectively Find a Jallikattu Solution’

The Centre would find a collective decision on the issue of lifting the ban on Jallikattu and conducting the traditional bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu, Union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday. “(Union Minister of State for Transport and Highways) Pon Radhakrishnan is in touch with the government. I think we will collectively find a solution for it,” Prasad told reporters here en route to Madurai.

The chorus for holding Jallikattu, banned by the Supreme Court, has been increasing, with various political parties in the state upping the ante on the issue. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a recent letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested him to introduce a bill in an ordinance to amend laws for conducting the sport. Union minister Radhakrishnan has expressed hope that permission would be obtained to hold the event during the Pongal festival next month.

Addressing a gathering after releasing a postal stamp on freedom fighter Alagumuthu Kone at a function organised by Yadava Mahasaba at Gandhi Memorial Museum in the city on Saturday, Prasad said that it took 68 years for independent India to recognise Kone,  considered to be one of the first revolutionary freedom fighters. He laid down his life bravely giving in to the British army in 1759. It is shameful that the previous governments did not recognize the contribution of freedom fighter Alagumuthu Kone by releasing a postal stamp in his name, he said.

“My apologies to the Yadava community for the delay (in releasing the stamp),” the BJP leader said adding that the Central government had approved the request of the Yadava leaders within two months. Prasad said Alagumuthu Kone’s history should be taken to the masses. As the Telecom Minister, he said, he has asked the postal department to release a series of stamps on revolutionary freedom fighters, especially those who have been forgotten. He said that stamps on saint-poet Thiruvalluvar, Carnatic singer M S Subbulakshmi, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and poet Subramania Bharathi would be released.

Thanking the Centre, Yadava Mahasaba leader M Gopalakrishnan said they hadbeen requesting the government for releasing the stamp for 19 years. Radhakrishnan said the recognition that has come for Kone after about 256 years wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of writers T R Chokkalingam and P Sadhasivam (The Hindu, 2015).