Cockfighting is a popular sport in rural Bengal, though illegal but very old tradition. Cockfight is a blood spilling sport between two roosters where they fight with their unbelievable aggression till one defeats. Cocks possess congenital aggression toward all males of the same species. Cocks are given the best of care until near the age of two years old. They are conditioned much like professional athletes prior to events or shows. Wagers are often made on the outcome of the match.
For me it’s the first time in my life to witness this. Heard about it and often read about this ancient sport. It was Sunday evening time and we are returning back from our daily scheduled tour. While travelling through very interior of rural Bankura district of West Bengal in the end of December month we saw a huge gathering in a field all shouting-cheering. Going closer with full of our surprise we found that it’s a huge human circled cock fighting arena where roosters are fighting and all were cheering. Loosing no time I set my camera gears and settings and went on documenting.
In the main fighting arena more than two fights were fought at a time. Before take part in the arena the cocks were been put in trial to check if they had proper aggression to each other. If that was satisfied then only the masters start preparing their fighters. They tied small highly sharpened spurs to the left feet of the cocks with red wires. Local name of the spurs was “Kanch”. All the cocks looked healthy and on asking they said in few cases the cocks were been drugged to showcase their aggression.
The masters brought their cocks to the ground then where they fight for death. Actually it’s a natural phenomena of cocks to fight with each other. As they only had two nailed legs only to fight they used to jump one another and wanted to make scratch with that. As “kanch” is fitted on their one foot that causes deep and sharp cut marks. I had witnessed several fights that day. But most of the fights won’t last for more than 1 minute maximum. The reward of this game was the winning master can take the defeated cock. Frankly speaking for me it’s a complete reward as an whole.