New Delhi: New Delhi-based think tank Odisha Forum organised a Seminar on “Rasagola, the quintessential Odia delicacy”. Dr Asit Mohanty, well known author and litterateur, who has done extensive research on the origin of Rasagola and has delved into many ancient texts.
He has pointed to the Rasagola’s reference in Dandi Ramayana, a version of the epic adapted by Balaram Das in the 16th century and also culture & tradition followed during Niladri Bije at Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri. Tracing the origin of the sweet he said that for over 500 years Rasagola being offered to deities in mutts and temples in Odisha.
Mr. Mohanty has refuted West Bengal’s claim that Rasagola had reached Odisha under the influence of Shri Chaitanya. He said the neighboring state also claimed that chhena (cottage cheese), from which Rasagola is made, was invented in Bengal. Mr. Mohanty has quoted extensively from various published texts and documents including old records from archives. He also mentioned that selections from Odia literature published by Calcutta University in 1924 had references to the sweet’s origin in Odisha. He emphasized that we have collected authentic evidence about the availability of Rasagola in Odisha prior to 1500 AD.
Mr. Mohanty’s presentation was followed by a lively discussion. Esteemed Members of Odisha Forum not only vehemently protested the grant of Geographical Indication (GI for short) registration to “Banglar Rosogolla” but also urged the Government of Odisha to take it up strongly with the GI Registry, Chennai and all available fora. They also voiced the opinion that either GI registration should be granted to “Odishara Rasagola” or “Rasagola” should be recognised as a unique product of Eastern India comprising of both Odisha and West Bengal.