The Odisha government has decided to seek a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for 'Jagannath Rasagola' and not 'Odishara Rasagola' as was decided earlier after it lost a bitter battle with West Bengal over the origins of the popular sweet.
The Odisha government has decided to seek a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for ‘Jagannath Rasagola’ and not ‘Odishara Rasagola’ as was decided earlier after it lost a bitter battle with West Bengal over the origins of the popular sweet. Odisha’s MSME minister Prafulla Samal said the decision to apply for GI tag on ‘Jagannath Rasagola’ – a variety of the syrupy sweetmeat offered to Lord Jagannath at Puri temple – was taken after consulting legal and industry experts. “If the state files for GI tag on ‘Odishara Rasagola’ against its Bengali counterpart, then it will not be able to get any benefit or advantage,” an official at the Director of Industries said.
In a letter to MSME Additional Chief Secretary L N Gupta, Director of Industries S R Pradhan said chances of successfully registering ‘Odishara Rasagola’ are not very bright.
“Unless it can be established Rasagola from Odisha has certain unique qualities, characteristics and reputation associated with state of Odisha, the chances of successfully registering ‘Odishara Rasagola’ are not very bright,” the letter said. The letter also pointed out that since different varieties of the syrupy dessert were being prepared across the state, justifying its uniqueness can be difficult, it said.
The GI under the World Trade Organization is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place. The industries department has suggested the MSME department to apply for a GI tag for ‘Jagannath Rasagola’ going by its unique identity and the age-old custom of offering the sweetmeat to Lord Jagannath at Puri temple.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) or the Servitors’ Association may apply for the tag on behalf of the state, Pradhan said. Meanwhile, Odisha’s Law Minister Pratap Jena said the MSME department has been entrusted with the responsibility of getting the GI tag for Lord Jagannath’s rasagola. Jena said the MSME officials have already visited Puri to collect evidence for the purpose.
Puri collector Aravind Agarwal said the district administration would provide all support to MSME department in its endeavour. “Rasagola is being offered to Lord Jagannath for centuries. The district administration will provide all support to MSME department to secure GI tag for ‘Jagannath Rasagola’,” he added. West Bengal obtained the GI tag for ‘Banglar Rosogolla’ on November 12.