Blood sport of cockfight marks the end of harvest season in Jharkhand

Ranchi (Jharkhand), Jan.17:Villagers in Jharkhand revelled in the festive spirit as they organised the traditional sport of cockfighting to mark the end of celebrations of their harvest season.

A cockfight is a blood sport between two rosters, held in a ring called cockpit.

In Jharkhand, cockfighting is associated with harvest festival ‘Tusu’, which often witnesses people of all ages enjoying the game of blood and gore.

Cockfighting has emerged to be one of the most favoured entertainments for the villagers who reside in the remote forest areas and have negligible access to cinema or television.

“After cutting the crops, we organise cockfight with great enthusiasm. We come here to enjoy and these fights are organised at least twice a year. Today, we have organised this cockfight on the occasion of ‘Tusu’ and we are enjoying a lot,” said an owner of a rooster, Abhiram Madhav.

In this game, the birds fight with each other often till the death, as the surrounding crowd cheer and exchange money with each winning stroke.

The villagers believe that the rooster who wins the fight brings happiness and prosperity for their master’s family.

Hundreds of villagers assembled in eastern Ranchi city to watch the specially bred birds, referred to as gamecocks, fight.

For the game of cockfighting, the natural spurs of the roosters are sawed off and replaced by razor sharp steel blades and they are also given drugs to maximise their aggression and stamina. During a typical cockfight tournament, a third to a half of the birds is killed. The few lucky ones who survive suffer severe injuries including broken wings, punctured lungs and gouged eyes.

The tribal ‘Tusu’ harvest festival begins after northern India;s harvest festival called ‘Makar Sankranti’ comes to an end. ‘Tusu’ always begins on January 15 every year. (ANI)