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Rising Up! | by VinothChandar
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Rising Up!

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Jallikattu finally qualifies for a sport with many regulations in place. It is more disciplined now.

 

It is no longer free-for-all in the playing arena. Only players with uniforms are allowed in the ring and those found violating rules - like pulling the bull’s tail - are sent out of the field immediately. Ambulances with doctors are in standby to rush injured players for treatment and veterinarians check if the animals are drugged.

 

The playing arena is barricaded. There are separate spectator galleries, so that spectators cannot come anywhere close to the bulls. In fact, the event has become a major tourist attraction during the Pongal season. Foreign tourists I have spoken to have praised the sport and compared it to the Spanish bullfight, which they felt was gory.

 

Unlike in the past, the participating bulls are examined thoroughly by veterinarians before they are let into the playing arena.

 

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Taken on January 17, 2012