To support or not

I don’t remember the last time I had to argue with my family about something non-family related and argue vehemently at that. I am usually a person who wouldn’t engage in arguments unless I use it to expand my knowledge of that specific matter by playing devil’s advocate. And arguing over WhatsApp isn’t fun, even though it can be useful to curb your emotions which might come to the fore when you are talking in person.

So, what was this argument all about? I am not sure if you have heard about the Jallikatu protests that have been going on in my state in India. There was some support shown by Tamilians all over, US, UK etc Everyone supporting the traditional sport of Jallikatu (a bull taming sport) held during the second day after Pongal (the harvest festival). You see, the Supreme Court had banned this sport citing cruelty to animals and people wanted to rally against the ban. Especially students. The protest was on a very large scale and it was all peacefully done (in a very non-violent way) which I really appreciate. My siblings also participated to show their solidarity and support to this sport. Not just them, my very close friends too spoke up and started using the ‘I Support Jallikatu’ picture as their WhatsApp profile picture.

A lot of news, talks, messages, information was being passed on in the WhatsApp family group about this and it came to a stage where I was asked to show my support by joining the people here in London if there were any such thing happening. I told them that I do not support the cruelty to animals in the name of culture and even though I support the fact that the local breed of cattle which is diminishing should be addressed, Jallikatu might not be the only solution that we should be resorting to. Also once the Government removes the ban, people will go back to their own life and forget all about organic breeding, farming, supporting farmers, supporting local cattle breeds etc until the next year when the sport is banned again. That ruffled a lot of feathers. At least they didn’t pounce on me for my views, but I was bombarded with so many cultural references and stuff like that through the messages.

Yesterday, when the protests were getting to a close, the political parties played their game and turned it violent where the police officials themselves involved in arson and put the blame on the students. I was expecting this to happen. Because that is what happens every single time we try to protest peacefully. Every party wants to gain mileage with any such huge event to gain votes.

I wanted to write all about it but wasn’t sure where to begin. Mr. M and I used to discuss it every day for the past week about why my folks or others are not seeing the bigger picture? It totally turned into an emotional blackmail thing. If I didn’t support it, I wasn’t a Tamilian who is proud of her culture, so if I am a Tamilian I would support it, no matter what. That wasn’t agreeable to me. I had questions for which they didn’t have answers. And I was told that I was being unreasonable.

But today, I found an article which highlighted each and every single question I had (it is so convenient when someone who is better at writing their views expresses your thoughts) and I think it will be better to share that instead of going through the same questions again.

Jallikattu: ethics versus entrenched traditions – []

I am sure that article will bring up a lot of comments (I am yet to go through the comments there) and some harsh ones at that too. But I am glad that I found that.