Massive protests in Karnataka against Kambala ban

Press Trust of India

Mangaluru: Stepping up pressure on government following the success of Jallikattu stir in Tamil Nadu, students, artistes and politicians Friday staged a massive protest here, demanding removal of the ban on Kambala, a traditional buffalo race in the coastal region held annually.

All-College Students’ Association along with Tulu film artistes, Yakshagana artistes, politicians and members of Tulunada Rakshana Vedike staged protests at Hampankatta here, lending momentum to the growing demand on the issue.

Noted personalities from Tulu film industry including actors Devdas Kapikad, Naveen D Padil, Bhojaraj Vamanjoor, director-producer Vijay Kumar Kodailbail, BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLA Mohiuddin Bava (Cong) and others called for immediate government action to ensure continuation of Kambala.

Students from various colleges formed a human chain. Kateel said Kambala had a history of 800 years and it was a tradition of Tulunadu. Tulu, a Dravidian language, is spoken in a small region, mainly in coastal Karnataka and Kerala’s Kasaragod district, collectively known as Tulu Nadu.

The student fraternity had gathered to protect Kambala and prove youth power, he said, alleging that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was projecting Kambala in a wrong way claiming that buffaloes were subjected to cruelty, but in fact they were treated with great care and concern.

The protest would continue until ban on Kambala was withdrawn, he said. Kateel had Thursday threatened to observe a fast unto death if the state government did not promulgate an ordinance on Kambala.
Bava said Kambala was a unifying sport and the people of the district were closely attached to it irrespective of religion, caste and creed. The fight would be continued ‘‘until justice is done.’’

In Bangalore, AIADMK Karnataka unit workers staged a protest, demanding lifting of the ban on Kambala and demanded a ban on PETA, which has filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court to restrain the sport.

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