What is the GI tag controversy over Rasgulla / Rosogulla between West Bengal and Odisha?
The GI or Geographical Indicators tag is one of the form of intellectual property rights. It demarcates the territory of origin of a commodity and thus vests the territory with the exclusive right over deciding the quality , reputation and other characteristics of the commodity. Recently, the GI tag for Bengali rasgulla has been granted to West Bengal by the Directorate of Food Processing Industries after a two and a half year long battle between Bengal and Orissa in this regard. It was granted on the basis of evidence from 1868 when Nabin Chandra Das had invented the confection.
However, Orissa’s claim arose in with the setting up of a committee to trace the origins of the sweet. Rosogolla Day was celebrated on 30 May, 2017 in Orissa. It was claimed that the sweet was served in the Jagannath temple way back in the 13th century. Rasgulla also has a role to play in the myths of the region.
It has been established that Bengal won the GI tag for Banglar rosogolla and not on rasgulla in general. It is believed that sufficient evidence has been produced by West Bengal on origin, uniqueness etc. So, Odisha now seeks to claim GI tag for its own rasgullas separately.