Nearly 900 Tamil Americans gathered in front of the Embassy of India in Washington, DC, on Sunday to denounce a ban on the traditional bull wrestling festival of Jallikattu, imposed by the Supreme Court of India.
The ban on the sport has been in place since 2014. But protests against the ban gained momentum in Tamil Nadu in the past two weeks. Thousands have been protesting at the iconic Marina Beach in Chennai since January 8, and the protests have spread to other parts of the state as well.
In Washington, the protesters who came from Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, besides the District of Columbia began gathering at 10.15 am.
Nalini Britto, one of the organisers, said more than 800 people have signed a petition urging the Government of India to lift the ban. The petition will be submitted to the Indian Ambassador to the United States Navtej Sarna on Monday, she added.
“We feel like we have also taken part of the protest in Chennai,” said Ramya Arangs, another organizer. The Gaithersburg, MD, resident, an immigrant from Chennai, she felt gratifying that she was able to join the protests and lend her voice to a cause that she truly believes in.