Arki (Shimla), September 16:The two-day Sair Fair started today at the Arki Chaugaan ground here. Thousands thronged the ground to witness the bullfight which is the traditional sport of this town. The participants displayed feats of daring and strength and were cheered by the spectators.Around 20 bulls with their handlers and trainers participated in the event. Men in the age group of 20 to 35 are generally engaged by the farmers as trainers to goad their bulls.These trainers are mostly young farmers or boys who are either studying or tilling land.“The only thing we see in the trainer is that he should have the expertise to make the animal have an edge over its rival,” said Paras Ram Thakur, the owner of a bull.For these trainers, the job starts right from moment he is introduced to the animal. “ The first time you come across the beast, you have to tease him the maximum so that he gets irritated and attacks more ferociously when the bull fight starts,” said Salig Ram, another participant.
It is alleged that the beasts are given alcohol to arouse their anger.In the past there were instances when the bulls ran into the crowd which resulted in many fatalities. But this year, no such incident happened.“ I am ready and prepared for the challenge as I have been working hard on my bull,” said Parsu Ram, another bull owner. Irrespective of the fact that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was the chief guest, was late by an hour, it failed to dampen the spirits of the participants. A cultural programme followed by the much awaited bull fight. To meet with any untoward incident an ambulance and a fire brigade squad was on standby.
The bulls were categorised in two categories according to the weight and age of the animal.Later, the CM expressed happiness that the festival still maintained its old rituals and customs.