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The sweet battle continues with Odisha Government now planning to obtain GI for Odishara Rasagolla

By Amitava

The battle over the Rosogolla is not yet rested with the Government of Odisha planning to obtain a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for "Odishara Rasagolla." The Government of Odisha claims that the GI obtained by West Bengal is for "Banglar Rosogolla" that is specific to West Bengal only.

A boy eating Rasgulla at a sweets shop in Kolkata on Tuesday. A tug-of-war over the popular sweet has been resolved, with West Bengal wining the legal-battle against Odisha over the origins of the rasgulla. The state had been granted GI or the Geographical Indication status for the sweet.

On November 14, the State of West Bengal was accorded the GI tag for the iconic sweet Rosogolla.

As Bengal celebrated the victory, at around 9:56 pm on the same day, a tweet from the @CMO_Odisha (The Chief Minister's Office, Odisha) stated "Odisha Government is in process of obtaining GI tag for Odishara Rasagolla. It originated in #Odisha and is offered at Jagannath Temple as part of religious rituals by people of Odisha for centuries."

A press note issued by the Government of Odisha, on similar lines, stated "Rasagolla, which originated in Odisha, has been offered at Jagannath Temple in Puri as part of religious rituals since the 12th century by the Odias.

It has come to our notice that Banglar Rasagolla has been registered with Geographical Indication (GI) on an application filed by Government of West Bengal. This only provides GI tag to the Banglar Rosogolla specific to West Bengal. The government of Odisha is in the process of obtaining GI for Odishara Rasagolla which dates back to more than 800 years."

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. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.

It has been a long tug of war with both the states locking horns over the origin of the iconic sweet.

In 2015 Odisha's Science and Technology Minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi told media that committees had been set up to trace the origin of the sweet. He had stated that there is conclusive evidence that Rosogolla has existed in the state for about 600 years.

Odisha claimed that 'Rasagolla' originated in Puri. Its ancestor was 'Kheer Mohana', which later evolved as 'Pahala Rasagolla'.

The West Bengal government fell back on 19-century history to claim Rosogolla was invented by Nabin Chandra Das, a famous sweetmeat maker based in Baagbazar in North Kolkata in 1868.

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