kambala

In News: A jockey in the annual buffalo race, Kambala  has been compared with world record holder Usain Bolt after a video showing him clocking 100 metres in 9.55 seconds, went viral recently.

About Kambala

  • Kambala is a traditional buffalo race generally taking place in the coastal Karnataka districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada (from November to March) in paddy fields filled with slush and mud. 
  • It was observed as thanksgiving to gods for protecting the animals from diseases.
  • During the race, the racers try to bring the buffaloes under control by holding their reins tight and whipping them.
  • In its traditional form, Kambala was non-competitive and buffalo pairs raced one after another in paddy fields.
  • Traditionally, Tuluva landlords sponsor this race. Tuluva people are an ethnic group native to Southern India and are native speakers of the Tulu language.

Concerns: 

  1. Kambala involves acts of cruelty on animals: Activists criticize that animals  which are not physiologically suited for racing run in the race due to fear of being beaten.
  2. Violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960: As the tradition involves unnecessary pain to the animal amounting to cruelty.