Separate rooms, a swimming pool and air-conditioned caravan for hassle-free transport. No, it is not for human beings, it is all for Sri Lankan Minister M Senthil Thondaman’s jallikattu bulls that struck gold at the famed Alanganallur event in Madurai.
“We treat the bulls like our family members. They have separate rooms and a swimming pool for the bulls. As swimming is the best exercise to make them strong, a tank was converted into an exclusive pool so that they can swim around without risking injuries,” Thondaman, the Uva Province Minister for Highways, who had earlier served as the acting Chief Minister of province, told the New Indian Express.
Much like the way professional horses are transported, the special caravan is used to transport the bulls.
Thondaman said his team of pro-Jallikattu supporters has been working to help jallikattu gain international recognition, on the lines of horse racing. He hoped his participation in Alanganallur on Friday would appeal positively about Jallikattu among many foreign countries.
Thondaman said his ancestors were from Pattamangalam in Thirupathur taluk of Sivaganga district.
They later settled in Sri Lanka during the British Raj, but reared bulls for generations. Continuing with that tradition, he nurtured 10 bulls belonging to various native breeds.
Though the caravan facility is costlier, it helped in keeping his bulls strain-free, which in turn had a bearing on their performances.
On his bull belonging to Kannapuram breed winning Maruti Suzuki Alto car in Alanganallur, Thondaman said, “It is not the first time that one of my bulls have topped the chart.
“Many of my bulls have a separate fan following. If those bulls are scheduled to take part in any Jallikattu, the fans will be visiting the event, mainly to witness their performances. Like any other sport, we are striving to bring professionalism into Jallikattu.” Apart from uniting Jallikattu enthusiasts in about 14 countries, Thondaman was behind those like T Rajesh, State Coordinator, Jallikattu Meetpu Kazhagam, and Karu Ambalatharasu, President, Jallikattu Veera Vilayattu Pathukappu Nala Sangam, in providing assistance, mainly legal support. (Colombo Gazette)