PUNE In a major reprieve for the Maharashtra government, the Supreme Court lifted the ban on bullock racing in the state on Thursday, four years after it was established. The order stated that the races should be conducted in accordance with the rules and amendments it made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, in line with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
With the Supreme Court now giving its approval, several parts of the state, especially Pune and the western Maharashtra region, where the decades-long tradition has prevailed, will again witness the excitement of sport, which according to those associated with racing, will also help in boosting the rural economy.
In many parts of western Maharashtra, particularly in the Pune region, bull chasing is seen as a traditional sport with locals investing heavily. Those who participate in the race spend a lot of money on the bulls while the prize also comes to Rs. In many villages, race winners are seen in social standing with members of the Gram Panchayat.
After the judgment of the High Commission, owners of jubilant bull carts in Pune district decorated their bulls and set off firecrackers in Khed, Rajurunagar, Busari and other places.
Akhil Bharatiya Bailgada Sharyat Sanghatna, representative of Ramkrishna Takalkar, said the High Court gave its approval to hold the races by adhering to the rules and regulations set by the state government in 2017. “Since the High Court gave the conditional leave, we are appealing all owners of bull carts to conduct the races from While adhering to the rules and regulations.Lakhs of bull cart owners in the state are happy today.There have been accusations of owners that they abuse animals,but all of these accusations were wrong.The truth is that all bull owners treat bulls like their children.Today, with this decision, farmers breathed a sigh of relief. ‘ said Thaklkar.
Ramnath Waring, a bull cart owner from Maval district in Pune, said all bull cart owners in the area were thrilled after the decision. “The owners and farmers of Bullock’s chariots did not consider races to be a means of entertainment. For them, these races were a means of enhancing the rural economy. Many livelihoods were dependent on these races. They included the buying and selling of the breed required for the races.”
Waringe owns six bulls (required for races) worth their value R40 lakh and won several races when state sport allowed. “When I say that these races bring prosperity to the farmer community, it means that the farmers buy the young calf from R25000 to R30,000, raise the animal with great care, train it and prepare it for races. If the bull runs fast, it can be sold anywhere R4 lakh to R5 lakh or even at a higher price, he said.
(with agency input)