Images of India : Another blood sport goes on unhindered…

cockfightsinhbdWhile all the focus is on the raging controversy over Jallikattu (bull taming) in Tamil Nadu, cockfighting or “Kodipandelu”, yet another blood sport, goes on without any hindrance in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh despite an official ban. Cockfights involving betting of billions of rupees have traditionally been part of the Sankranti festival in coastal Andhra Pradesh and a rage among gamblers and spectators. The going price for trained cocks or roosters was Rs.10,000 to Rs.60,000 this year. The three day Sankranti is the biggest festival in Andhra Pradesh and people go all out to celebrate. According to trade estimates, the betting on cockfights annually has gone up to Rs.8 billion annually. The craze for the cockfights in the region is also patronised by prominent politicians who openly associate themselves with it and fights attract massive crowds with the number of organisers running into thousands.