Kolkata: The bittersweet battle over the origin of the famous Indian sweet, Rasgulla has picked up pace once again, after the Odisha Small Industries Corporation (OSIC) filed a rectification petition demanding that the Geographical Indication (GI) tag of the sweet be changed to ‘Jagannath Rasgulla’.
Ramkrushna Dasmohapatra, the chairman of OSIC confirmed to News18 that he has filed a rectification letter before the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks last month in Chennai.
Rejecting the GI tag of ‘Banglar Rasogolla’ given to the sweet in 2017, Dasmohapatra, said, “It is wrong. Lord Jagannath has been there before the city of Kolkata even existed. Our Rasgulla has a unique identity because as per the age-old customs, Rasgulla was offered to Lord Jagannath at Puri temple during a special occasion. Therefore, the tag should be changed to ‘Jagannath Rasgulla’.”
The GI registry is set to hear the matter in April and has asked OSIC to submit adequate documents to support their claims and demands within two months, after which the rectification petition will be dismissed.
The Deputy Registrar of Geographical Indications, Chinnaraja G Naidu said, “Yes they have filed a rectification petition and we will soon fix a hearing date in this matter. I cannot disclose much about it now as this is a judicial matter.”
Earlier on November 14, 2017, the Geographical Indications (GI) Registry had announced that the ‘Rasgulla’, synonymous with the Bengali identity, originated in West Bengal and not Odisha.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee celebrated the news with a tweet and said: “Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that Bengal has been granted GI (Geographical Indication) status for Rasgulla."
The GI announcement came months after the Odisha government formed a panel to formally lay claims on the name of Rasgulla, which has traditionally been identified with anything Bengali.
West Bengal and Odisha have been engaged in a bitter legal battle over the origin of the syrupy Rosogolla since June 2015.
The battle took a turn for the worse when Odisha’s former Science and Technology Minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi set up several committees in 2015 to trace the origin of Rasgulla. They even went a step further to declare July 30 as ‘Rasagolla Dibasa’, to celebrate its origin.
Then Bengal government, too, set up a committee and decided to fight the Odisha government's claims legally. The West Bengal government, while referring to 19th century origin of Rasgulla argued that the quintessential Bengali delicacy was created by Nabin Chandra Das, a famous sweetmeat-maker in 1868.