Peta receives abusive calls, threat of rape; says fight for animal rights will continue

Over the past four days, if there is one organisation that has come under fire, it is the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). While posters targeting it can be found all over the Marina beach, the ground zero of the pro-jallikattu protest in Chennai, even political leaders like MK Stalin have called Peta anti-national. Many others have demanded that Peta should be thrown out of Tamil Nadu.

TS Sudhir spoke with Dr V Manilal, director, Peta who admitted to receiving several threats and abusive calls all through this week. But despite the opposition, Manilal says Peta will continue to be committed to the cause of educating people about compassion towards animals. Edited excerpts from the interview:

The govt is moving an emergency ordinance to allow Jallikattu on Sunday. Tamil Nadu Chief minister O Panneerselvam has promised to inaugurate it himself. Are you at Peta left with no options now?

We always have the legal option. We will consult our lawyers and we will proceed based on their advice.

But if the ordinance is promulgated on Saturday and Jallikattu happens on Sunday, that leaves you with hardly any time over the weekend to approach the court? All indications are that jallikattu will happen for sure on Sunday. Other animal rights activists seem resigned to it.

We will need to look at the possible legal remedies. Even if it goes ahead, our effort to educate and create awareness and tell people why we are opposed to Jallikattu will continue. The Supreme Court in its 2014 order has clearly mentioned that cruelty is inherent in jallikattu. Nothing stops us from educating people about it.