Transgender Keertana debunks the myth surrounding Jallikattu festival

Public TV English
Public TV English
3 Min Read

MADURAI: Keertana, a transgender from Madurai, is training eight bulls for the upcoming Jallikattu festival. For the last four years, Keertana has dedicated herself to this task. Two other members from the transgender community are helping Keertana in the maintenance of the bulls.

Jallikattu is practiced in Tamil Nadu as a part of the Pongal celebration, which usually takes place in January. Earlier, Jallikattu was perceived as a heroic sport for men only. Debunking the ‘myth’ around it, the native of Pottapanaiyur (Madurai) Keertana has earlier said, “It has been proven over the years that gender cannot define valiance and achievements.”

For Keertana, Jallikattu bulls are no less than a ‘child’. She said, “I have eight Jallikattu bulls. We are training the bulls to participate in the upcoming Jallikattu competitions. Everyone is studying and achieving in one’s respective fields but my desire is to achieve in this traditional sport of Jallikattu. I don’t have a child but I see these Jallikattu bulls as my children. When these bulls would be winners, I would be as happy as my own children winning the game.”

The other transgender Akshaya, who is helping Keertana in bull training said, ”I have been training Jallikattu bulls for four years along with Keertana. We can’t have a baby but the bulls make us happy. I am sure they’re going to win the race.”

Jallikattu is celebrated as a robust sport in Tamil Nadu. Although it’s been entangled in debate for years about whether it should be continued or not. The Supreme Court reserved its judgement on a batch of petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra governments’ laws allowing bull-taming sport “Jallikattu” and bullock cart races last Thursday.

The Tamil Nadu government in a previous hearing told the apex court that sporting events can also be cultural events and there is no cruelty on the bulls in “Jallikattu”.

“This is an incorrect notion that an activity, which is in nature of a sport or entertainment or amusement, cannot have a cultural value,” the counsel appearing for the State has said. (ANI)

Share This Article