Karnataka to amend the Prevention of Animal Cruelty act to legalise Kambala

8/5/2017 513 Social Issues | Animal Rights | View Recent Current Affairs

  •  Karnataka govenment has decided to move a amendment to the Prevention of the Animal Cruelty act of 1960 by removing the "sport" of Kambala and bullock carts race from attracting its clauses.
  • The ban was imposed by the Supreme Court in its 2014 order along with Jallikattu and other sports.
  • As per the modification sought, State government’s powers to include more sports or races involving animals by notifications in future will be clipped.

About Kambala:

  • Kambala — the rural sporting festival of Karnataka — was once a pastime for the royal family.
  • According to one belief, the festival was started by the Hoysala Kings to see if the buffaloes could be trained and used during wartime. The Hoysala Kings were surprised to see the speed of the buffaloes and started racing them against one another. This then developed into a sport for the royals. The tradition was kept alive till it was passed on to the common men, by the feudal lords of Tulu region.
  • Another belief states that the festival originated in the farming community of Karnataka and is dedicated to Lord Kadri Manjunatha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. It was celebrated to please the Gods for a good harvest.
  • In the earlier days of the festival, it was called Karaga celebrations. Later it came to be known as Kambala celebrations.
  • There are two types of Kambala: Pookere Kambala and Bale Kambala. However Bale Kambala was discontinued 900 years ago, so only the former kind of Pookere Kambala gets celebrated.
  • The festival is famous for the buffalo race that is held during the celebrations. The two-day celebration starts with an exhibition of the participating buffaloes with their respective farmers.
  • During the festival, when the fields are wet, the buffaloes are made to race on the tracks, led by the farmer. Each team comprises of two buffaloes and a farmer who controls the buffaloes. Two teams are made to race down two slushy tracks to determine the fastest team. The winner of the buffalo race gets rewarded with a coconut among other things.
  • The buffalo race in Karnataka takes place between November and March every year. The places where it takes place are Baradi Beedu, Bolantur, Kolatta, Majalu, Puttur, Kamalakettu and Uppinagadi.
  • The festival gets celebrated with much cheer in Mangalore at the Kadri Kambala fields. Hence, it is also popularly referred to as the Kadri Kambala or Mangaluru Hobali Kambala.
  • In this festival, due to the high speed at which the farmers and buffaloes run, they may suffer serious injuries, including fractures of the bones.

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