Chennai: Oscar winning music director A.R.Rahman has announced that he will observe a day-long fast on Friday, along with members of the Nadigar Sangam -- the South Indian Artistes Association -- to express solidarity with people protesting against the ban on Jallikattu. Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan have already expressed solidarity with Jallikattu supporters
"I'm fasting tomorrow to support the spirit of Tamil Nadu," Rahman posted on Twitter on Thursday.
As protests for conducting Jallikattu continued state-wide, five time World Chess Champion Vishwanathan Anand extended his support to holding the bull taming sport, saying it was a cultural symbol.
"#jallikattu is a cultural symbol. Respect it. Im all for animal rights but here that is not the point. Tradition & livelihood are", the chess legend wrote in his official micro-blogging site Twitter.
"my state rises again. In unison. In peace. Proud to be a #tamizhanda. Genext here are modern yet culturally rooted #JusticeforJallikattu", Anand who hails from Chennai, said.
Spiritual gurus Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva who command lakhs of followers have said the ban must be withdrawn. Those pushing for a middle ground say the sport could be allowed with modifications and rules to ensure the bulls are not abused. "I support Jallikattu & request that the movement remains peaceful. Let's have patience while a fresh appeal is made in SC (Supreme Court) with correct facts," tweeted Sri Sri. "This is a celebratory kind of festival dedicated to animals. You should not take away the cultural strength of people, especially in rural areas," said Sadhguru.
Thousands of young men and women here have demanded not only an end to the ban on Jallikattu but also a ban on People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which opposes the sport.
In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the animal's hump for a stipulated distance or for a minimum of three jumps by the bull.
The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu in May 2014, saying that bulls cannot be used as performing animals including bullock-cart races. Since then, people have been urging the central government to take steps to allow the sport. (Agencies)