– Gameness til the End
NATION, IN OTHER NEWS
DECCAN CHRONICLE. | G SRINIVASAN
Published Feb 12, 2017, 6:28 am IST
Updated Feb 12, 2017, 6:31 am IST
Youth have descended from various parts of the state and also from states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puduchery from Friday onwards with their fiery roosters.
Thanjavur: That the ‘jallikattu’ agitation has restored the glory and respect to traditional sports in Tamil Nadu was evident from the response to-in terms of participants and viewers-to the cockfight competition held here on Saturday.
This sport is not new to Thanjavur. But this time, in the competition, which is held after a gap of two years, that too after the victory of jallikattu agitation, the mood was upbeat and spirits high at the venue here on Vilar road behind Mullivaikkal mutram.
Youth have descended from various parts of the state and also from states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puduchery from Friday onwards with their fiery roosters. Bred specially for the fight, the cocks were waiting for an opportunity to peck, fly high engaging the opponent in a beak hit, to win attractive prizes.
The venue was full of cars, two-wheelers, trucks, and official cars indicating the magnitude of response. Flex boards hailing the Tamil youth for restoring ‘jallikattu’ welcomed visitors.
Inside the ground, youth were seen preparing the birds for the fight-, massaging, clearing the beak and giving pats to the roosters-. Jayakumar and Priyadarshan from Cuddalore brought two birds for the competition. “These are specially reared roosters for the fight. We give them badam, pista, ragi food, boiled eggs as feed. The roosters are trained in swimming and are taken on a stroll every day in the morning.
A 21-day practice is enough for a cock to fight. These are all one and one-and-a-half-year-old birds. After giving practice, the birds will be allowed free for two days before competition. We have participated in cock fights held at Pattukottai, Pudukottai and here in Thanjavur for more than eight years now except for two years gap,” they explained.
Anandan from Chidambaram said that he brought four birds (with his friends) for taking part in the cockfight. Animal husbandry department officials subjected the birds to test. Masila Mani, joint director of Animal Husbandry department said that the response was overwhelming for the competition. “We expected 1,000 birds on Saturday. The participation was 950 by noon The number may exceed 1,500 by evening when the competition will end for Saturday. It will continue on Sunday also,” he said. Nearly 12 veterinary doctors check the claws of birds for sharp nails. If the nails are sharp, they blunt them.
“This competition is a plain competition without blades or knives fitted in legs of the birds. We examine the health of the birds, whether they are drugged like pouring liquor into their mouth, whether they are handicap, have wounds etc and give fitness certificates for participation in the competition. Then only the birds can participate,” he said.
The participants pay an entry fee of `500 to the organisers, ‘Thanjai Seval Kalai Sangam’. In the battleground, the birds are allowed to fight for 20 minutes. The bird which loose its boisterousness and shows reluctant to fight by pecking the ground is the looser and the other bird declared as winner. Prizes-sliver and gold coins-, are distributed to the winners.
“We have made all security arrangements. A. Annadurai, Thanjavur district collector visited the place on Friday to check the arrangements,” said C.Suresh, revenue divisional officer who visited the place on Saturday. All needed arrangements for the fight have been made, even as the youth were very happy to take part in the competition.