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After West Bengal, Odisha gets GI tag for its version of Rasagulla/Rasagolla

Date: 31 July 2019 Tags: Martial Arts

Context:

  • The bitter war between Odisha and West Bengal appears to have ended in a draw with the grant of GI to Odisha as well for rasagulla.

Significance of GI:

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  • A GI tag helps in the branding and marketing of a local product and can attract penalties if copied by anybody outside that geographical region.

What is a GI?

  • According to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) "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."
  • India, which is a party to TRIPS, formulated a GI law in 1999, which came into force four years later

What the fight was all about?

    • In Nov, 2017 When West Bengal received its GI tag for its variety of Rasagulla many people wrongly believed that the GI Registry has recognized that the sweet originated in West Bengal.
    •  A bitter fight ensued between the two states over the sweet delicacy, both on social media and off it.
    • Claims by West Bengal:
    • Bengalis claim the sweet was invented by Nobin Chandra Das (Birth: 1845) at his Bagbazar residence in Kolkata.
  • Claims by Odisha:
    • Odias cite the tradition dating back to the 12th century of the cottage cheese dumpling being offered at the Puri Jagannath Temple.
    • Odias as Rasagolla Dibasa (Day):
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      • During the festival of “Niladri Bije", Lord Jagannath offers rasgulla to his disgruntled consort Goddess Laxmi on his return from a nine-day-long Rath Yatra.
      • That day is now marked by Odias as Rasagolla Dibasa (Day) every year.
    • How a single product could be recognized as GI for 2 different geographies?
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      • The GI tag for the same product to both the neighboring states now recognizes two distinct varieties in taste and texture.