Modi, Putin to visit Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu during Pongal?

After hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tamil Nadu, reports claimed, is all ready to host Vladimir Putin, the Russian President. They said, he, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be in Tamil Nadu in January 2020.

The reports stated that Putin will be in Tamil Nadu in January 2020 to witness the famous bull-taming sport Jallikattu at Alanganallur during Pongal celebrations, people familiar with the developments said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will accompany the Russian leader to the southern state to have a glimpse of the sport, they added.

Jallikattu is a sport, played as a part of Pongal, harvest festival dedicated to Sun God, celebrations, where a bull is let loose into a crowd of people. The participants are supposed to take control of the bull by holding its hump as long as they can.

Another report said, “Whether it is the PM’s own idea or whether he is getting some great advice, one wouldn’t know. But Jallikattu could well be a political gamechanger. Not many have forgotten the Marina uprising to mount pressure to allow the conduct of the Jallikattu event in January 2017. Modi’s presence in Madurai will allow him to subtly take credit for ensuring opposition by animal rights activists did not derail Tamil Nadu’s rural cultural festival, celebrated during Pongal.”

However, hours after media reports surfaced that Putin will visit Tamil Nadu to watch Jallikattu along with PM Modi, a clarification stated that such reports are false and no such programme has been scheduled.

Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar, who represents Thirumangalam assembly constituency in Madurai district, said that there was no official confirmation of the news. External Affairs Ministry officials too denied any such development.

Jallikattu is derived from Tamil words ‘salli’ meaning coins and ‘kattu’ meaning package. A bag of coins used to be tied to the bull’s horns which the participants will have to snatch. Bulls of Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds are specifically bred for the festival.