With the clamour growing for organising 'Kambala', a traditional annual buffalo race, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said his government was in favour of holding it and asked the Centre to take a favourable stand as it did for jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.
"We are in favour of Kambala, we are for Kambala. We pressurise the Union government to take a stand in favour of this (Kambala), similar to the way in which it favoured jallikattu in Tamil Nadu," he told reporters in Bengaluru. To a question on large-scale protests planned by Kambala committees, he said "....they are protesting for Kambala, we are also in favour of Kambala."
Spurred by the jallikattu stir in Tamil Nadu, Kambala Committees had met in Mangaluru yesterday to strategise their agitation, where it was decided to hold a massive protest on January 28 in Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district. Symbolic Kambala, a traditional annual buffalo race in the marshy fields in coastal districts of the state, is also likely to be held as a mark of protest.
Karnataka High Court's division bench, headed by Chief Justice S K Mukherjee, in an interim order in November 2016 had stayed holding of Kambala on a petition by PETA challenging it in view of orders passed by the Supreme Court on jallikattu. Kambala Committees have filed an interim application, seeking vacation of the stay.
The matter came up on Friday before the division bench of the High Court, which adjourned the case to January 30. Calling Kambala a folk festival with over a thousand-year history, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said it has an emotional connect with the people. "Ban on Kambala is an after effect, on the basis of the ban on Tamil Nadu's Jallikattu.
The matter is coming before the High Court on January 30, I'm hopeful that we will get justice and there will be no need for any agitation..." he said. Hoping that the Centre would take a favourable stand for getting approval for Kambala, he said, "The state government should also approach the Centre, and for no reason should Kambala be stopped..." Support for the folk sport has gained momentum in the social media also.