Dozens of members of B.C.’s Indian Tamil community staged a rally at the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery last weekend to protest a decision by the Indian Supreme Court that banned the ancient bull-wrestling sport of Jallikattu.
The sport of Jallikattu involves releasing a bull into a crowd of people who attempt to grab it and ride it. It is popular in Tamil Nadu state but was banned by India's top court after animal rights groups argued it was cruel to the animals.
The protestors are against the ban as they see Jallikattu as an important part of their cultural heritage, and also say it ensures the preservation of native breeds of bulls.
“The Indian community in Vancouver has joined hands with the Tamil diaspora in more in 15 countries to echo their discontent on the ban,” said rally organizer Sridar Elumalai.
Demonstrators in Tamil Nadu have been calling for the practice to be fully legalised.
Most ministers in the state government, including Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, as well as Tamil celebrities such as Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, support jallikattu.
Bowing to pressure Tamil Nadu this week passed a new bill to allow a controversial bull-taming festival.
To become law, the new bill must be signed by the state governor and India's president.