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Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


What to study?

For Prelims: Key facts on Kambala.

For Mains: Kambala- For and Against issues.

Context: After Srinivas Gowda created a storm by covering 100 metres in 9.55 seconds recently, another Kambala runner Nishant Shetty has now overtaken the former by completing the same distance in 9.51 seconds.

What is Kambala?

  • It is traditional slush track buffalo race held annually in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area.
  • Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala.
  • The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March.


Why it has become controversial?

Over the years, it has however become an organised sport with animal rights activists claiming that the buffaloes run in the race due to fear of being beaten, which the organizers dismiss, saying no violence is involved and that several modifications had been made to ensure that it is an animal friendly event.

  • Karnataka High Court had stayed this sport in view of Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu. And later the Govt. of Karnataka had passed an ordinance to exempt this sport from the ban.

Arguments in favour of this sport:

  1. The sport is rooted in celebrating and honouring agriculture. It is celebrated as a festival of expressing gratitude to the various forces of nature that give us food.
  2. Some agriculturists race their buffaloes as a means to thank god for protecting their animals from disease.
  3. At the most fundamental level of humanity, sports like these are great outlets for channelising energy, which is expressed in promoting competitive spirit and forging and strengthening community relationships.

Sources: the Hindu.