KOLKATA: In a bitter fight, West Bengal and Odisha found themselves entangled over claims of the sweet Rosogolla. The case ended with the former winning a geographical indication (GI) for 'Banglar Rasogolla'. Results came after a 26-month battle fight in the intellectual property wing of the ministry of commerce. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted her happiness saying, “Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that Bengal has been granted GI status for Rosogolla.”
Odisha finance minister Shashi Bhushan Behera was, however, not disheartened. He said, “This is not a loss for Odisha as we have not yet filed an application with the Geographical Indications Registry (GIR). Once we apply, they will look into the matter and Odisha may get a GI tag for its very own Rosogolla.” While it has long been assumed that the sweet came from West Bengal, the state was in for a surprise when Odisha government, on Ulta Ratha, 2015, claimed the day should be declared as Odisha's 'Rosogolla Day'. As Odisha applied for a GI tag on the delicacy, Bengal Science and Technology department, following pressure from thousands of Rosogolla fans, lodged a counterclaim.
The state prepared a dossier containing all documents, historical texts and analogies, in support of the claim that Rosogolla belonged to Bengal and had been invented in two stages in two completely different historical time zones. It claimed that Naveen Chandra Das had introduced the sweet in the state in 1869. Meanwhile, Odisha government collected documentary evidence that points to the origin of a similar sweet that was even offered at Puri's Jagannath Temple since the 12th century. “Bengal is the only state that uses chhena (curdled milk), to make sweets. The process of curdling is considered 'unholy' by most communities, including Odiyas who never offered any sweet made of chhena to the Lord. “Temple records that contain details of the food that can be served to Jagannath does not mention Rosogolla anywhere,” said Mohua Hom Chowdhury, representative of the Odisha state science and technology department. “The GI tag to ‘Banglar Rosogolla’ does not settle the debate on its origin. The two sweets are two different things. Odisha government will file an application for it soon,” said state MSME secretary LN Gupta.