Fans argue the unique nature of the sport can be used to promote the unique
Goan spirit and help boost tourism. Neshwin Almeida spoke to various people involved
When we sit with noted lawyer, Anacleto Viegas who’s had many triumphs in the court of law, he speaks on behalf of his client who he says he picked only because he’s truly Goan at heart and spirit.
“Let’s discuss deaths in a game of football or cricket wherein players are facing cardiac arrest due to burnout. What’s next then? Ban the sport. Man indulges in wrestling, sword fighting, fencing and all those dangerous games and they’re part of the Olympics. Then why ban a game that involves two bulls nudging each other and has a crowd that cheers,” questions Anacleto.
He admits that there may be injuries when the bull gets into the crowds. And hence he reminds us that football, wrestling, cricket, fencing happens in stadiums and arenas, with barricades, rings and even safety gear.
“The biggest myth is calling dhirios aka bull fights. It’s not a bull fight, it’s a bull fighting game which needs recognition, safety norms and standards, investment and arenas, protections and insurances and the entire process begins with the government identifying the sport and having a registered association for it and setting the ground rules,” explains an angry Anacleto Viegas who doesn’t like the fact that the government continues to hold the game of dhirios at ransom.
Anacleto feels that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s move to appeal to the constitutional bench of the court is little that he’s doing but he should first lift any sort of ban in the state and take an official government stand on legalizing the game in the state and only then he will make way for its legalization.
Mickky Pacheco, former Animal husbandry minister in Parrikar and Digambar Kamat’s government , who was out of the country and is an avid supporter of bull fights and has worked closely with the Bull Owners Association feels the government can be taken seriously in resolving dhirios only if the government moves an ordinance like Tamil Nadu through the governor. Otherwise he felt it was nothing much.
Mattew Silva, who’s nine men we bump into as they take their bull for a walk through the fallow fields of Mungul, Margao asserted that since the sport in not legal it’s a risk taking the massive bull on the beach on a crowded day and hence they’re forced to take the bull for a walk in the fields where we often get hurt and injured.
Similarly Joe Cotta who also owns a bull in Cansaulim explains to us that the government could make many things easier by lifting the ban from assigning areas for dhirios, areas for grazing and walking the bull, medical clinics and veterinary assistance, loans for buying bulls, insurance of the bulls or even of the audience and so much that can be explored and even more legalization can bring revenue through match day ticket taxes accrued by the government but he feels subsequent governments looked too rigidly at the matter.
Joe reminds us of how Spain have cashed in on their matador traditions and got global tourists coming in from different directions. Similarly Churchill says that he may have differences with Parrikar’s government but he along with his voters from Benaulim, Orlim, Cavelossim, Varca, Colva, Sernabatim and all along the coastline will support Parrikar on his initiatives to legalese dhirios and that the next big step for the Chief minister is to build an arena, amphitheater and actually come up with draft rules and safety norms for dhirios.