Russian President Vladimir Putin may attend the bull-taming festival, Jallikattu, in Madurai, Tamil Nadu in January 2020. Jallikattu is part of pongal celebrations, a harvest festival dedicated to Sun God, and a bull is let loose on a crowd. The participants are to tame the bull and control the bull by holding its hump for as long as they could.
While there is no official confirmation on the same yet, Madurai officials have heard that Putin may accompany PM Modi for the Jallikattu in Alanganallur, a village near Madurai as reported by Hindustan Times. Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu for an informal summit with PM Modi.
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. Animal rights activists have called for a ban on Jallikattu where courts have placed several bans on the festival. However, a new ordinance was passed in 2017 through which the sport continues.
UPDATE: News has now emerged that media reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin attenting Jallikattu in Madurai along with Prime Minister Modi are false. No such event has been organised.
Media reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting Tamil Nadu and watching Jallikattu along with PM Modi are incorrect, no such program has been scheduled. pic.twitter.com/lkeU1G5IXg
— ANI (@ANI) October 29, 2019