Bengal is ready in its battle to lay claim to rasogolla
West Bengal is taking its battle for the rasogolla with Odisha to another level by claiming a Geographical Indication (GI) for syrupy sweet.india Updated: Sep 03, 2015 21:55 IST
West Bengal is taking its battle for the rasogolla with Odisha to another level by claiming a Geographical Indication (GI) for syrupy sweet.
The Mamata Banerjee government will submit an application for a GI tag for the rasogolla within the next two-three days in a race to beat the Odisha government which is also planning to put a similar claim for one of the most popular delicacies in this part of the country.
Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay, minister of science and technology, told Hindustan Times they are rushing an officer to Chennai with the application. The Odisha government, meanwhile, is still in a preparatory mode.
"All our documents are ready and the application for 'Banglar Rasogolla' will be submitted at the Intellectual Property Office, Chennai, in two or three days," Chattopadhyay said on Monday, adding that the state government has prepared a detailed documentation on its history of the origin and evolution.
A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
Sources said the government took up this project under the instruction of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who prioritised the task after hearing about Odisha's initiative. She contacted renowned sweet shops in the city and sought their help in getting the GI tag for Bengal.
Odisha claims rasogolla originated at a locality named Pahala in the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar and is seeking the tag for Pahala Rasgulla. West Bengal, however, is not claiming any particular location in the state as the place of origin and has sought the GI tag for 'Banglar Rasogolla'.
"Rasogolla is synonymous with Bengal. It cannot belong to any other state. We are confident that we will get the GI tag," the minister said.
To strengthen its claim, the government has prepared a dossier of sorts which includes detailed history, books and articles published over a century. Haripada Bhowmik's recent book, Rasogolla: Banglar Jogot Matano Abishkar (Rasogolla: Bengal's World Charming Invention), has also been included as a case in point. It also sought the help of renowned rasogolla makers as KC Das and Balaram Mallik Radharaman Mallik.
"As much as I remember, it's about 10 years that people in Odisha have been claiming Odisha as rasogolla's place of origin. I did not pay much attention initially, as everyone knows rasogolla belongs to Bengal. But since Odisha is trying to claim the GI status, we can no longer afford to sit idle," Dhiman Das of KC Das told HT.
While West Bengal already has a GI status for Joynagorer Moya, the first food item from the state to get this tag, an application to get the tag for Burdwan's sitabhog and mihidana is pending for about three months. The government is also set to apply for a GI tag for Dinajpur's Tulaipanji rice.
But it is the tag for rasogolla that the government is most concerned about, as the chief minister herself has set it as a priority in the wake of the fight with Odisha.