01/18/2018, 09.38
INDIA

Tamil Nadu, five gored to death in the 'Jallikattu' bull race

The victims were watching the sporting event. Indian bullfighting is considered the oldest sport of modern times. The bullfighters do not use weapons, unlike the Spanish bullfighters.

Chennai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least five spectators have been gored and 60 others injured in the famous "Jallikattu" bullfight that takes place every year in Tamil Nadu, in the south of India. The event, similar to the Spanish "corrida", has been running since January 14th. It gathers thousands of men, who chase the animals trying to tame them.

Jallikattu is considered the most ancient form of sport of the modern era. It is thought to have originated more than 2,000 years ago. In 2014 the event was banned by the judges of the Indian Supreme Court for cruelty to the beasts. But last year the local government was forced to restore the event due to widespread public protests. In authorizing the races, the administration admitted that they "are important for the welfare of the native breeds of bulls and to preserve cultural traditions".

The Jallikattu attracts the protests of the animal activists who denounce the mistreatment of the bulls and their exposure them to "undue stress". In the race the bull is released from the pen and bullfighters are supposed to hold on to the animal's hump for about 15-20 metres or three jumps of the bull to win the prize, which is tied to the horns. If no one succeeds, the bull wins.

For most of the Indian population, Jallikattu is only considered a sport of ancient tradition, in which man tests his own strength against those of nature. Unlike Spanish bullfighting, bullfighters do not use weapons and the animal is not killed at the end of the competition.

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