Finally the bulls in Tamil Nadu ran for their lives. The government had to pass an ordinance circumventing the apex court’s order. The people won. In the final analysis, only the bulls lost.
There was a time when people were starved of entertainment. The days before computers and internet, dish TVs and digital networks. Even kings used to be bored in spite of the luxury in their palaces. In spite of the choicest wine and women. So they called their soldiers and went to fight a battle. Battles are good entertainments for those who have no ideas about what to do with their time.
Bull fights and cock fights and a whole lot of other fights like boxing and wrestling have provided much entertainment to a lot of people for centuries. Also, the battle cries haven’t died down. They won’t as long as the human species continues to dominate the planet. Then we have also other entertainments like religious fundamentalism, terrorism, revanchism, and what not. Personally, I find it all rather obnoxious. But my personal feelings should not stand in the way of the world’s entertainments. Let me entertain myself with words. Words are the best drugs in a world of sanctimonious insanity.
Those days are gone when the world was starved of entertainments. Yet why do we need these cruel games? Probably, it’s not so much about entertainments as something else. Is it about letting out the steam in our psyches? Catharsis, as Aristotle put it. A releasing of our inner terror? An exorcism for the devils within. Catharsis is required. So is exorcism. Inner terrors and devils are real.
The Supreme Court and the governments must have realised that their powers are not absolute. You can’t take us for granted, the people of Tamil Nadu have taught them. India is going through a time when so many decisions are imposed from the top by the Prime Minister as well as the Supreme Court. The Jallikattu protestors have made it clear that too much of this top-down style won’t work. There’s a limit to what the country will take. We are not in the days of kings who could entertain themselves at the cost of the people to any extent. We can clap for one or two surgical strikes and other histrionics. But you can’t take us for a ride every day.
The bulls are the scapegoats in the end. What to do? Kuch pane ke liye kuch khona padta hai, hai na? Dear bulls, your loss is our gain. Take pride in your sacrifice. You are an integral part of our heroic sagas. You assimilate our insanity as well as our bullshit.