Post News Network
Bhubaneswar, Sept 19: Sweet facts often turn bitter. Orissa, which has been traditionally offering rasgulla bhog to the three presiding deities of the 12th century Puri shrine Srimandir, has been embroiled in a piquant situation.
Thanks to the controversy raked up by our neighbour West Bengal over the origin of the sweetmeat, the state government has decided to gird up its loins to stake its claim.
The state government Saturday formed three committees to counter West Bengal’s claim over the birthplace of rasgulla. “Three committees will be formed Monday to examine the detailed information on rasgulla. The panels will start functioning within a week,” science and technology (S&T) minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy said here.
Representatives from S&T, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and culture departments would be included as members of the panels, he said.
“We would delegate the task between the committees to expedite the results. One committee will collect the evidence; another study Bengal’s claim and the third will collect necessary papers and historical facts so that we can move as fast as possible. We have decided to finish the task within seven days,” he said.
The S&T department would also open a link on its website, where people who possess corroborative documents can upload them, he informed reporters.
Notably, a long debate is going on over the origin of the sweetmeat. The Bengal government has taken steps to get geographical indication (GI) tag that rasgulla was originated in their state. The Bengal government believes it was invented in 1868 by confectioner Nabin Chandra Das of Calcutta while Orissa claims that it was invented in the holy city of Puri way back in the 13th century.
The tradition of offering rasgulla by Lord Jagannath to Goddess Laxmi on the day of Niladri Bije (the day when the deities return to their abode after the annual Rath Yatra) is at least several centuries old indicating that it was much older than the 150-year history of Bengal’s rasgulla.
The Bengal government has patented Darjeeling tea as a ‘brand’ and the state government can also take a cue from it to patent traditional Oriya sweet recipes including rasgulla and ‘chenapod’.