Mangaluru, Jan 22, 2017: People of Undivided Dakshina Kannada/Tulunadu, are optimistic that a favourable judgment allowing kambala will be pronounced by the high court. Even as the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has written a letter to the Karnataka government requesting it not to allow kambala citing the recent Supreme Court judgment that banned jallikattu, kambala fans in coastal Karnataka have decided to wait for court’s decision.
Former minister for sports and youth empowerment K Abhaychandra Jain, who is one of the patrons of kambala, said organizers will wait for a favourable judgment from the court.
"We will hold kambala if we get green signal from the court. We will not force the government to reject the letter written by the Animal Welfare Board of India. Nobody can go against a court decision. Hence, we are waiting for the court’s decision," Jain told TOI.
K Gunapala Kadamba, president of the Kambala Academy and founder secretary of Dakshina Kannada Kambala Committee said two years’ time should be allowed to conduct study on kambala.
"We had sought the state government for two years to study and also made a request to form a committee. The government through an order set up a committee of officials from seven departments including the dean of Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University. The government has submitted a 10-point guideline, which the committee framed, to the court. We are expecting a favourable decision allowing a detailed study from the court. The committee set up by the government too seeks two years’ time for the study," Gunapala said.
On agitations in Tamilnadu against the ban on Jallikattu, Gunapala said the people of Tamilnadu, who fight for Jallikattu, have sought support from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab. "People of Tamilnadu have sought our support, but when the case is pending before the court, we cannot go against it. The state government has issued an order providing opportunity for us to hold kambala, but it has not been accepted by the court. Hence, we are expecting an interim relief from the high court," he added. Ruling party chief whip in the legislative council MLC Ivan D’Souza said that kambala should not be weighed using the same scale as in case of jallikattu.
"We will have to adhere to any directions of courts. The government has already clarified that jallikattu and kambala are different and cannot be treated equally. Kambala events were held in coastal region based on the guidelines issued by the court in 2016. It is evident that no cruelty aspects are involved in the kambala event. The argument that there is cruelty in kambala event does not stand. The government too has clarified that no cruelty is being meted out to animals in kambala event," Ivan said.
The government also told the court through an affidavit that kambala is a traditional folk sport of agriculture community of the region. There is no need of finding relation to jallikattu and kambala. "I expect that the court will decide in favour of people of coastal Karnataka. I have explained this to chief minister Siddaramaiah. The CM himself has participated in kambala event and he is of the view that the event should be allowed to continue," he added.