Chennai: A war of words broke out between DMK Working President MK Stalin and PETA over the Jallikattu issue, with the leader calling the animal rights NGO as "anti-national" and the group calling the criticism "cheap and ineffective."
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has come under severe criticism from pro-Jallikattu groups for its strident opposition to the bull-taming sport associated with the Pongal harvest festivities.
Targeting PETA, which has been in the forefront of anti- Jallikattu protests, Stalin, also Tamil Nadu Opposition leader, said such "international NGOs did not realise the diversity of India and aspects of its heritage," and charged them with working with "ulterior motives."
"Centre should immediately ban the international NGO PETA which is against our culture and is anti-national," he said. He also favoured replacing Animal Welfare Board of India with a different body with more Tamil representation in it. Hitting back, PETA said Stalin's criticism was "cheap and ineffective" and that supporting "cruelty" is "un-Indian."
"To target an animal protection NGO which is not a law- making body, but rather a law-abiding body, is cheap and ineffective as it can have no bearing whatsoever on the central government laws that prohibit cruelty to bulls," Manilal Valliyate, Director of Veterinary Affairs, PETA India, said.
"To stand for kindness is patriotic, to stand for cruelty is un-Indian. PETA India serves animals in respect of our country's Constitutional mandate, its laws and its Supreme Court," Valliyate said in a statement.
Stalin demanded that the centre should not allow PETA to function anymore and urged the Union Government to come out with court-approved mechanism for the conduct of the bull- taming sport in future.