Caste and religious differences were created to destroy Tamil unity: TN CM Stalin

CM had earlier made announcement in the state Assembly that a seperate grand arena will be constructed for jallikattu here.

Madurai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday said caste and religious differences were created “later” to destroy the Tamil unity and urged that cultural festivals like the traditional bull-taming sport jallikattu should be conducted by people unitedly as Tamils.

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In his address after inaugurating a grand jallikattu arena named after his father and late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, Stalin also charged the central BJP with “enacting a drama” over granting permission to hold the sport in the state, before the Supreme Court gave a favourable verdict on the matter.

He recalled that DMK founder, the late CN Annadurai gave Tamil Nadu its name (it was earlier known as Madras Presidency) while Karunanidhi ensured classical language status for Tamil.

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His “Dravida model government” has constructed the grand arena in this district to highlight “aeruthazvhuthal which is a symbol of Tamils’ culture,” he said.

“At this juncture what I want to tell you is–caste divisions and religious differences were created later to destroy Tamils’ unity. Let us conduct such cultural fetisvals unitedly with the Tamil identity,” he said.

Jallikattu is also known as “aeruthazhuvuthal,” meaning embracing the bull.

Stalin said that in 2014, there was a situation where jallikattu could not be held in the state and three years later, a massive public protest was held at the Marina in Chennai demanding that the sport be conducted.

He charged the then AIADMK government with “unleashing violence” on peaceful protesters but the regime gave in to state-wide protests.

“But still, no permanent solution was achieved. Every year. the BJP-led union government enacted a drama in the name of giving permission for jallikattu,” he said.

In the apex court also, the BJP government submitted it did not recognise jallikattu and bullock-cart race, Stalin said.

However, the DMK government later submitted in the court that jallikattu was not a mere entertainment sport but one which was intertwined with the lives and culture of farmers and assured to conduct it with due safety measures.

Subsequently, the court gave a ‘historic’ verdict last year allowing the conduct of the bull-taming event, he added.

Further, the 3 year-old DMK government has implemented key initiatives for the region including the Keezhadi musuem, besides the jallikattu arena.

The “Kalaignar Nootranduu aeruthazhuvuthal Arangam”, named after Karunanidhi to commemorate his centenary, is spread across 66.80 acres at Keelakarai village in Madurai’s Alanganallur, famous for its jallikattu events.

It has been established at an estimated cost of about Rs 62.78 crore.

The CM had earlier made announcement in the state Assembly that a seperate grand arena will be constructed for jallikattu here.

Among others, the complex has ‘vaadivasal’ (from where the bulls are released), waiting area for bulls, veterinary hospital and first aid centre and museum and the arena can hold about 5000 spectators.

Stalin also witnessed the first jallikattu event here and presented gold rings to some of the winners, a government release said.

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