In a proud moments for all Tuluvas worldwide, Kambala, the rural sport has got resident’s approval, making Kambala a legal rural sport in Karnataka. With this, all hurdles for Kambala is gone, we can expect people to relish this tradition game. Animal organization like PETA had fought against Kambala and had wanted to get it banned. But people of Tulunadu fought unitedly against this.
The assent would facilitate the smooth conduct of Kambala (slush track race involving buffalos) in the undivided Dakshina Kannada. The Bill proposes to exempt Kambala and Bullock Cart Racing from the ambit of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday approved the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill making Kambala a legal rural sport in Karnataka. Karnataka government had promulgated Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 on July 20 last year after getting the approval from the then President Pranab Mukherjee on July 3.
Union minister for statistics and programme implementation D V Sadananda Gowda said that the President has approved the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2018. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had refused to grant an interim stay on kambala after hearing a petition filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on February 12.
The approval of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill has increased the responsibility of kambala patrons and fans in the coastal districts.
Kambala events of the season are yet to be held at Uppinangady, Bangadi, Kakkepadavu and Talappady in the coastal region. The season was commenced with the 15th annual Kambala organised by the Koti-Chennaya Jodu Kare Kamabala Samiti at Ontikere in Moodabidri on November 11, 2017. Kambala fans had celebrated a Vijayotsava’following the promulgation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 by the state government then. Later, events were held at various places in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
Tweeting about this, Virendra Sehwag said, “All Clear Signal for Kambala is great news. Rural sport needs to be preserved.Great that #Kambala bill got President’s approval, making Kambala a legal rural sport in Karnataka.Greater that it escaped hypocritical organization’s attempt to block avenues which rejuvenate the youth.”
Kambala is traditionally a simple sport which entertains rural people of the area. The kambala racetrack is a slushy paddy field, and the buffaloes are driven by a whip-lashing farmer. Traditional kambala was non-competitive, and the pair was run one by one. In modern kambala, the contest generally takes place between two pair of buffaloes. In villages such as Vandaro and Choradi, there is also a ritualistic aspect, as farmers race their buffaloes to give thanks for protecting them from diseases. Historically, the winning pair of buffaloes was rewarded with coconuts and bananas. Today, winning owners earn gold and silver coins. Some organising committees award an eight-gram gold coin as first prize. In some competitions, cash prizes are awarded.
Animal lovers have criticised kambala as cruel to the racing buffaloes, which are driven by whips. In 2014, based on lawsuits filed by animal welfare organizations, the Supreme Court of India ordered a ban on kambala. The ban also covered jallikattu, a sport of hands-on bull taming. A government order lifted the ban on jallikattu in January 2017, and the public asked for the ban on kambala to be lifted too.
People of Tulunadu are thankful to our President Ram Nath Kovind for approving Kambala bill.