PIL to scrap GI tag to ‘Banglar Rasogola’; Odisha High Court served notice to both the State:

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Cuttack: May 10: Odisha High Court served notice to both the Odisha Chief Secretary and West Bengal State Council of Science & Technology after hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking scrapping GI tag to ‘Banglar Rasogolla’. The notice was also served to Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and Chennai Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Susanta Sahu, Secretary of Punya Utkal Foundation and Santosh Kumar Sahoo, Editor, Odiya Parba filed the PIL in Odisha High Court on Feb 05 seeking GI tag for ‘Odisha Rasagola’ and scraping GI tag received by West Bengal.

It is to be noted here, Regional Development Trust Chairman Ramesh Chandra Sahoo submitted an application at GI’s Chennai’s office for rectification or removal of tag. The Bhubaneswar based Trust alleged that West Bengal had received the GI status for Banglar Rasogola from GI Registry office by furnishing false evidence and data. Following which, the Geographical Indication (GI) Registry Office issued a show cause notice to West Bengal State Food Processing & Horticulture Development Corporation asking it why the GI tag given to ‘Banglar Rasogolla’ will not be withdrawn.

It is to be noted, there was no dispute in Bengal’s sweet saga before 2015. The battle started after the West Bengal government applied for a GI tag and it quoted that Nobin Chandra Das had initiated and invented Rasgolla.

Whereas Odisha Government claimed, Rasagola originated in Puri some 600 years ago in form of Kheer Mohana, the name referring to the milk-white colour of the delicacy. Also, Odisha’s claim is supported by mythological data i.e. Lord Jagannath had offered Kheer Mohana to angry Goddess Laxmi in order to appease her so that she lets Shree Jagannath enter into the home after 9 days of Ratha Yatra. To counter the claim of the West Bengal Government, Odisha Government set up a number of research committees. Jagannath Cult researcher Asit Mohanty said that, Dandi Ramayana has the first documented presence of Rasagola in Odisha History and it was an odia adaptation of the Valmiki Ramayana, written in 15th Century.

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