FIAPO urges political parties in Tamil Nadu to put compassion before politics
Anticipating escalation in pro-Jallikattu demands to sway public opinion in the run up to the state assembly elections, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has written to all political parties in the Tamil Nadu to refrain from using the issue for political mileage.
In January this year, the national federation petitioned the Supreme Court to successfully stay a government notification allowing bull taming events to take place. It is also worth noting that a Supreme Court order in 2014 had prohibited bulls from being used as performing animals.
FIAPO was instrumental in channelizing public opinion through its campaign to ban Jallikattu. Following the January order, the Federation also set up a helpline number to stop illegal conduct of bull taming events. The number has also received calls from Jallikattu supporters, many of whom have changed their stance following information on cruelty to animals.
“Pro Jallikattu lobbies in the state are wrongly projecting that the practice is part of our tradition and that prohibiting it will affect livelihoods of many. However, this is untrue and misleading information. Our culture of compassion and kindness does not prescribe torture of animals, and this is validated by our constitution as well. Jallikattu is against our fundamental duty of being compassionate to all living creatures and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Additionally, it is not hard to appreciate that supporting livelihoods based on illegal activities is akin to abetting crime” said Arpan Sharma, Director, FIAPO.
By means of the letter, the federation has brought to the notice of political parties the widespread public opinion against the conduct of Jallikattu, with thousands of people from within and outside Tamil Nadu supporting its prohibition. It is only a small group of vested interests that is trying to mislead people and the government into continuing the practice to gain political and economic benefits. However, the federation has cautioned that such a stance will come across as regressive and as a sign of weak leadership, and urged parties to instead adopt a stand based on compassion.
FIAPO is India’s apex animal protection organisation. As the collective voice of the animal protection movement in India, FIAPO is the catalyst which protects the interests of animals on local and national levels – through education, research, lobbying, mobilization, training and direct action. Created for the movement, by the movement, FIAPO is India’s only national federation with 68 members and over 200 supporter organisations nationally.