BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 14:17 GMT
Indian bull run banned
Bull cart racing in Punjab
An immensely popular sport in rural Punjab
By Asit Jolly in Chandigarh

The authorities in the northern Indian state of Punjab have outlawed one of the state's most popular sports - bull cart racing.

The ban followed complaints by some animal rights groups that bulls were being treated cruelly.

This has been denied by rural sport associations who say they will defy the ban at a forthcoming annual sports meet - the "rural Olympics".

Bull cart racing is an extremely popular sport in rural Punjab.

The race marks a high point of the rural Olympics held every year at the village of Kila Raipur in the district of Ludhiana.

The show, probably the biggest rural event in India, is watched by hundreds of thousands of people who gather from across the state.

The race begins with a march of the prized bulls reared specially on high fat and protein diets.

Cruel sport?

The immense popularity of the event has even attracted sponsorships from some multinational companies.

Bull
The prized beasts are reared on a special diet
But the sport is now dogged by controversy.

Complaints by an animal rights group, headed by federal Minister for Social Justice Maneka Gandhi, has prompted the authorities to impose a ban.

SK Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, told the BBC that there were reports that the bulls were drugged and then flogged to run faster.

But this has been denied by the organisers of the rural sports meet.

Sukhbir Grewal, chief organiser of the Kila Raipur Sports Club, said the authorities and animal rights groups could post referees to monitor the event.

Instead of banning the sport, he said, those found treating animals cruelly should be identified and penalised.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

03 Dec 00 | South Asia
Beastly times for India's blue bull
20 Nov 00 | South Asia
Court censure for India zoos
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories