Didi fi­nally gets her roso­golla

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

A bit­ter tus­sle over a pop­u­lar sweet has been re­solved with West Ben­gal un­der­min­ing Odisha’s claim and es­tab­lish­ing its orig­i­nal pro­pri­etary rights to the Roso­golla.

An ex­cited Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee cel­e­brated the news with a tweet from Lon­don, say­ing: "Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that Ben­gal has been granted GI (Ge­o­graph­i­cal In­di­ca­tion) sta­tus for Roso­golla." The two states were locked in the le­gal bat­tle over the ori­gin of the cot­tage cheese­based sweet since June 2015. Odisha had claimed that it has been distribut­ing the del­i­cacy at the famed Puri Ja­gan­nath tem­ple for ages.

(The GI sta­tus un­der the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion is an ac­knowl­edge­ment that a prod­uct orig­i­nated in a par­tic­u­lar place.) Con­fronted with the claim, West Ben­gal, which had sought the GI tag, al­tered its ap­pli­ca­tion and con­tended that it was vy­ing for the unique sta­tus for its vari­ant of Ra­so­golla, pop­u­larly known as Banglar Ra­so­golla. It had then ar­gued that this vari­ant was dif­fer­ent from the sim­i­lar look­ing sweet made in Odisha in terms of colour, taste, tex­ture and juice con­tent.

Ac­cord­ing to G Naidu, who heads the Ge­o­graph­i­cal In­di­ca­tions Reg­istry, Chen­nai, once the GI tag has been awarded to the Banglar Ra­so­golla, it can­not be pre­pared by any­one out­side West Ben­gal and sold un­der that name.

Ben­gal food pro­cess­ing Min­is­ter Ab­dur Rez­zak Mol­lah wel­comed the GI an­nounce­ment and said, “It was not merely a bat­tle over Roso­golla, but a bat­tle of pride and iden­tity for Ben­galis.” The bat­tle turned bit­ter when Odisha’s Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Pradip Ku­mar Pan­i­grahi set up sev­eral com­mit­tees in 2015 to trace the ori­gin of 'Roso­golla'. They even went a step fur­ther to de­clare July 30 as ‘Rasagolla Dibasa’, to cel­e­brate its ori­gin. Then Ben­gal gov­ern­ment too then set up a com­mit­tee and de­cided to fight the Odisha gov­ern­ment's claims legally. The Ma­mata Ban­er­jee gov­ern­ment, while re­fer­ring to the 19th cen­tury ori­gin of the 'Roso­golla,' ar­gued that the quin­tes­sen­tial Ben­gali del­i­cacy was cre­ated by Nabin Chan­dra Das, a fa­mous sweet­meat-maker in 1868.Gan­gu­ram's owner, Ram Ji said, “It's a great re­lief for us. I would like to thank the con­cerned min­istry for do­ing jus­tice to us.” Gan­gu­ram is one of the most pop­u­lar sweet chains in Kolkata that is fa­mous for its 'Roso­gol­las'. Owner of the fa­mous sweet­meat chain KC Das, Dhi­man Das said, “I don’t have enough words to thank the GI of­fi­cials. We are in busi­ness for sev­eral decades and I knew 'Roso­golla' is our cre­ation. This is a vic­tory for all Banga Bashi”. (Quotes CNN IBN)

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