Bengal wins GI tag for 'rosogolla', celebrates 'sweet news'
Kolkata: Ending a bitter fight with neighbouring Odisha, West Bengal on Tuesday won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the iconic 'rosogolla', signifying that the spongy, syrupy sweet originated in its territory.
The announcement by the GI registry has apparently drawn the curtain over an intense two-and-a-half-year battle between the two states over the origin of the popular ball-shaped sweet made from cottage cheese.
The Odisha government said it would continue its battle to get the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for 'rasagola' even though West Bengal obtained the GI tag for the origin of the iconic sweet, called 'rosogolla' in that state.
The government termed West Bengal winning the GI tag on 'rasagola' an "injustice to Odisha" as the sweet is rooted in Jagannath culture. The Odisha government plans to apply for GI tag for 'Odia Rasagola'.
The dispute began in 2015 when Odisha claimed that rosogolla originated in the state 600 years ago and was first served at the 12th-century Lord Jagannath temple in Puri. The Odisha government set up three committees to look into the evidence regarding the origin of rosogolla in Odisha and its Science and Technology Minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi claimed that more than one committee had pointed to "conclusive evidence" that "rasagola" (as the sweet is spelt in that state) was first made in Pahelgram close to Bhubaneswar.
The Odisha government moved an appeal to the central government's patent office claiming rights over rosogolla, and started a social media campaign to celebrate its origin. The confectioners of Odisha also organised an exhibition to make people aware about the state's claim over rosogolla.
Countering Odisha's claim, the Bengal government applied for GI tag from the GI registry in Chennai, asserting there was "ample" documentary evidence to prove the sweet belongs to Bengal and was invented by famous sweetmeat maker Nabin Chandra Das in 1868.
The GI registry arrived at Tuesday's decision after holding multiple hearing at its office in the city's satellite township Salt Lake. A descendent of Nabin Chandra Das thanked the Mamata Banerjee government for taking the lead in the fight.
"The government was very pro-active. They took all related papers and other information from us to prove the claim that Nabin Chandra had invented rossogolla (as he named it)," said Dhiman Das, director of confectioners K.C. Das. K.C. Das was the son of Nabin Chandra.