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Odisha To Continue Its Battle Over Rasagolla: Finance Minister

14 November 2017

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: Following the shocking news of Odisha losing its battle of Geographical Identification (GI) tag to Rasagolla to neighbouring West Bengal, Odisha Finance Minister on Tuesday averred that the State Government will continue its battle.

In his reactions, Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “If such a decision has been taken, certainly justice has not been done with Odisha. Rasagolla has got an age-old bond with Lord Jagannath culture and our other rituals. It has several mythological and many other evidences. Rasagolla is of Odisha.”

“Rasagolla is very popular in Odisha. Glaring instances are its pivotal points at Pahala and Salepur. If for certain reasons justice has not been done due to lack of ample logic, Odisha Government’s arguments in its favour will be re-examined.”

Senior Congress leader and Opposition Chief Whip in Odisha Assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati remarked, “It’s unfortunate. Rasagolla is offered to Lord Jagannath as ‘bhog’ (religious offering). No special ‘bhog’ in Kolkata.”

“As our hon’ble Chief Minister is ignorant of Odisha’s geographical knowledge, knows not about the ‘bhogs’ offered to our deities. For such shocking news, the Naveen Patnaik Government is solely responsible. The State Government did not fight as required. Hence, our Rasagolla went into Kolkata’s kitty,” fumed the senior Congress MLA of Odisha.

Notably, Geographical Identification (GI) authorities in Chennai on the day ruled that Odisha is not the origin of the sweet Rasagolla. The bitter tussle over the origin of this sweet started two and half years ago when Odisha claimed it to have been originated in the State here. After this historic victory, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already tweeted: Mamata Banerjee ?@MamataOfficial

Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI ( Geographical Indication) status for Rosogolla

1:06 PM - 14 Nov 2017

As the bitter war between Odisha and West Bengal did not seem to pacify, the West Bengal government filed a court petition in tandem with an application for Geographical Indication (GI) recognition to cement the origin debate.

It may be recalled here that Asit Mohanty, a researcher, had submitted a report claiming that Rasagolla has been mentioned in Odia literature before 1893 while there is no mention of such sweet in any Bengali literature before 1896.

The Odisha Government had formed a technical committee in September a couple of years back to collect evidences on the origin of Rasagolla in Odisha after both Odisha and West Bengal fought for acquiring Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the sweetmeat.

GI tag is like a brand name granted to a product because of its geographical uniqueness having its office in Chennai.

Among the campaigns, debates, discussions abuzz in social media regarding the birthplace of the sweet, Odisha started celebrating this age old concluding ritual of Rath Yatra as Rasagolla Day a couple of years back.

Odisha had been claiming that the famous sugary delicacy of eastern India originated in the State years ago as it was first served at the 12th-century Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri while Bengal only traces it back to 150 years.

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Sashi Bhusan Behera, Minister, Finance, Odisha

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Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Congress Chief Whip, Odisha

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