Jallikattu ban is humiliation of Hindu tradition
by Krishnarjun on 13 Jul 2014 42 Comments

The recent Supreme Court judgment banning Jallikattu is a serious humiliation of Hindu tradition. It’s unprecedented for courts to ban a rural festival that has survived and flourished for thousands of years. Even more astonishing is the fact that so-called Hindu organisations have not raised a whimper at this gross intrusion by the self-declared secular state and its legal apparatus into the beliefs and traditions of Hindu society. There is something very sinister in this entire episode leading to the Jallikattu ban.


It is shocking that some Hindu activists support the ban by bringing “compassion” into the argument. It seems that Christianisation of Hindu thought process is complete; some who publicly associate with Hindu causes now think a legal ban of an immemorial tradition is a Hindu way to induce compassion. The legal ban may be a secular constitutional right of the courts, but at many levels it is un-Hindu, and no amount of quotes from the Vedas, Upanishads or Puranas can shield its blatant un-Hindu characteristics. It violates the very sacred core of Hindu thought.


The sacred principle behind the whole gamut of Hindu philosophies is freedom of soul (atma); this freedom is divine and an incomprehensible part of divine cosmic play (lila). This freedom even lets a being to sin and face consequences as part of a learning process. Even avataras have not violated this freedom of soul. When Krishna explained Gita to Arjuna he didn’t order him to follow his instructions, he left the decision to his discretion. This intrinsic freedom of soul extends to communities, geographical regions and societies. When Rama accepted vanavas, he didn’t attempt to “civilise” the denizens of Dandakaranya or impose the codes of Ayodhya in Lanka with his might, yet people adored him for his qualities and tried to follow him at their will.


This canonising of high ideals and bringing them into legal framework is completely alien to Hindu temperament. Hindus follow personal experience, tradition and learn high ideals as part of tradition and experience; they don’t imitate some written commandments from a prophet or look at some constitutional law for moral guidance


The genius of Hindu society is that it evolved ideas and functional systems without compromising the freedom of individual, family, community and regions. A bemused American observer compared it with functional anarchy. The apex court’s ban on Jallikattu goes against this cardinal principle of diversity and freedom.


The primary purpose of Hindu state power is to ensure coordination between individuals, families, groups, without intruding into their freedom, unless their behaviour warrants intervention to maintain balance in society and life. Enforcing high ideals by law or forcing people to aspire for moksha is not the responsibility of the State. This is the fundamental difference between the Hindu way of living and societies organised around religions of the Book.


Dharma is different for different people depending on their situation and occupation in life. The cycle of life is impossible to sustain with all creatures in satvic mode; the diversity of nature exists between species and within species also. When wild animal population increased, Hindu kings hunted them to restore balance. They can neither be accused of lacking compassion for doing their job nor are they ignorant of divinity in the whole creation as explained in sastras; it was part of their Kshatriya Dharma. This legal tyranny in the guise of high ideals makes a society impotent leading to degeneration.


If the legal system can allow killing of animals for food under some “doctrine of necessity” why can’t it tolerate a sportive adventure like Jallikattu that may or may not cause some inconvenience to animals. How can activists or legal system conclude an animal doesn’t enjoy proper fight?


Any activity can lead to perversion, but should the legal system ban activities because of some perverted elements? When the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is applicable for perverted behaviour towards animals, why can’t it be used to control any abuse in Jallikattu, if any? This unilateral ban raises many questions on the motives of this activism than the issue it claims to address. In a country where Government promotes alcoholism, slaughter houses for revenues ruining many families and depleting country’s cattle wealth, it’s comical that a rural sport with a hoary tradition is hurting the compassionate conscience of urban activists.


It is also time to ask some tough questions on judicial over reach. In recent years, the judicial system has been over-stepping its mandate; it is no longer interpreting law but intruding into the domain of executive and legislature. Even in the existing un-Hindu secular system, it is the legislature that should decide on issues like Jallikattu or inter linking of rivers. How can the judicial system with no public mandate order ban on Jallikattu or dictate the Governments to implement a development proposal?


If the sport is inappropriate in an urban set up, a decision on ban should be decided by the concerned urban local elected body, or a local panchayat in rural context. How come the country’s top judicial system has so much time for non-issues like this when many burning issues remain unresolved in courts for decades? Clearly, there is a story in the cases that are accorded priority in the court calendar.


The Jallikattu ban is just another act of tyranny by the secular urban establishment on the traditions and practices of rural Hindus. It has nothing to do with any high Hindu philosophy, ideals or traditions; on the contrary it is a gross violation of sacred principles of Hindu Dharma. The reported involvement of NGOs with international funding sources confirms the anti-Hindu character of this dubious activism. No amount of Hindu philosophical spin can justify this totalitarian ban on an immemorial tradition; it only exposes the hidden agenda behind it. 

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