Jallikattu, a festival that coincides with Tamil new year (today), which involves taming a bull that runs wild through the narrow streets of villages filled with men who've satiated themselves with cheap liquor has been temporarily suspended by the supreme court citing safety (and other pragmatic reasons) and the state government with all its intentions of being the vanguard of a supreme culture (and in the banner of continuing the tradition) has filed a petition to review the situation.
There was a time, when the young woman of the house didn't have much say as to her choice of partner, and the father would deem a young man capable of taming a wild bull fit for his daughter. This is not a far fetched idea as there weren't many other means of evaluating the life-earning skills of a man. It wasn't just brute force (to discipline the animal), but the process also involved timing (when to get hold of the bull, when to let go of it), positioning (attack from a vantage point), sense of safety (how well/less bruised he is once done), reflex (avoid those sharp horns & U-turns) and maturity (an crude analysis of the bull's thought process and how best it can be contained in the running field). So, if someone is successful at getting the animal to its knees, by a very rough estimate, he is considered capable of wading his family through tough times - a mark of physical & mental strength.
But what does all of this have to do today? In an age of tractors, fertilizers and electric pumps and in a time when grooms are chosen based on their bank balances, why bother running after an intoxicated bull whose tail has been adorned with fire crackers? Oh yes! Its called 'our mighty culture & tradition'. I saw this guy on TV who has shaved his head as a mark of protest for not allowing him to display his valour. He said that if the supreme court doesn't give a favorable response, he'll shave his head again. Now, in all probability, he'll remain a healthy bachelor!