Jallikattu, an ancient Tamil tradition without which Pongal isn’t Pongal, has been turned illegal by the Supreme Court in which Tamil representation is miniscule.

Such things are possible in India because others have a stake – actually, more stake – in everything here.

If Tamil Nadu didn’t have to knock on the doors of a court outside its borders, if the matter were to be settled by Tamils alone, a ban on the tradition is unthinkable.

It’s a pity that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has to literally beg powers that be outside of Tamil Nadu to save a Tamil tradition.

RSS/BJP supporters thankfully understand the importance of this tradition, but thankfully is the problem.

When the decision is not with us, we have to be thankful to others if they understand our concerns (and vote them).

What if they change their stance tomorrow (a happening over which we have no control)? Even if they don’t change, why have a system in which the decision is with others?

The permanent solution to problems like this is not believing that some “national” party is always going to be on our side. Nor is it to hope for a central Judiciary which can be made to tilt towards us on an issue-by-issue basis.

The permanent solution is to create a central Judiciary which has no stake – yes, no stake – in intra-state matters. Let it deal only with inter-state issues.

In a democracy, there’s no reason why someone in Delhi, with a theory about animals, should be a stakeholder in a case related to people 2,500 kilometres away. It doesn’t help that the stakeholder can sometimes see our point.

The only thing that can help – permanently – is for that stakeholder to vanish.