Friday 31 January 2020

Misinformation About Rasgulla Still Continues

Many think that Rasgulla originated in Bengal and belongs to Kolkata and Bengal.
However, Rasgulla/Rasagola is being offered for centuries as 'bhog' on Niladri Bije, the last day of the Rath Yatra at Puri, Odisha.

Puri temple is one of the four holy dhaams for Hindus. Lord Jagannath Temple is also called Srimandir. "Sri" refers to Goddess Lakshmi. Shree Jagannath offers Rasagola to His wife, Devi Lakshmi to please Her and gain entrance to the Srimandir after He returns from the Rath Yatra with His siblings. She is upset as She has been left behind. The sweetness of Rasagolas puts an end to the fight and sets things right for the divine couple. Each year, on Niladri Bije, devotees offer Rasagolas as bhog to Lord Jagannath and Devi Lakshmi.

As many were not aware about Rasagola's origin and Odisha's tradition and celebration, we started #RasagolaDibasa i.e. "Rasagola Day" on Twitter and Social Media on Niladri Bije in 2015, which was the year of the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra.

Thereafter, Bengal got insecure and lost no time to apply for the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to claim "origin". Misleading information was spread that Odisha 'lost' and Bengal 'won'.
How can the truth reach when there is propaganda?
Bengal submitted the application for GI tag for "Banglar Rasogolla" on September 18, 2015.
Bengal got the GI tag for Banglar Rasogolla on November 14, 2017.
As per Bengal's "history", Banglar Rasogolla was "invented" by Nobin Chandra Das in 1868 and it is "152 years" old this year.

Odisha submitted the application for GI tag for "Odisha Rasagola" on February 23, 2018.
Odisha earned the GI Tag for Odisha Rasagola on July 29, 2019.
As per Odisha's historical and literary documentation, Odisha Rasagola is centuries old.

Despite this, lies have been and still are being deliberately spread to confuse and establish as truth.
Misleading info persists even now when Odisha has the GI Tag for Odisha Rasagola!

Here are the latest articles about Rasgulla published in Republic World:

"Bengali Rasgullas Recipe: Easy Steps to Prepare This Spongy And Light Dessert" has been written by Mr. Nair.
He has shared a "Bengali Rasgulla Recipe".

The article erroneously mentions that Rasgulla is offered during the 'Makar' month of the Hindu calendar.
Note- Rasgulla is offered to Goddess Lakshmi during the 'Ashadha' month of the Hindu calendar.
Ratha Jatra / Rath Yatra is celebrated in the month of Ashadha. Rasagola is offered on the last day of Rath Yatra i.e. on Niladri Bije.

This has been Odisha's continuing cultural tradition for several centuries.

When the Banglar Rasogolla is just 152 years old, while Odisha Rasagola has existed for many centuries, shouldn't the name of Odisha be taken first?
Why is Odisha's name mentioned after West Bengal?

As per the Banglar Rasogolla GI documents, no flour or semolina is added to prepare these as the Rasogolla of Bengal are made using purely "chhana".

However, Odisha Rasagola uses flour and semolina with chhena.

If wrong information is continued and shared, then how will people know the reality?
If those who know the truth, decide to be silent, then how will the truth win?

Here is another article about another "Bengali sweet" published in Republic World:

The article "Basant Panchama 2020: How To Celebrate The Auspicious Day And What To Eat" has been written by Ms. Chaugale.

In this article, there is no mention of the place of origin of the other sweets that are listed i.e. Kesari Sheera and Boondi. However, "Rajbhog" is claimed to be a "Bengali sweet".

And the above is not just an isolated case.
"Rajbhog" is claimed to be a "Bengali sweet" in many recent news-articles.

It may be noted that Rajbhog has links with Uttar Pradesh (UP).
This is not just about Rasagola or Rajbhog.

The fact is- Facts are getting changed.
There have been many attempts to delete/update old posts/articles/reports and create new ones to suit selfish interests and gain permanent ownership.

If one article misinforms, and the rest blindly copy the wrong information, then we soon have multiple articles sharing the wrong/false info and unitedly spreading misinformation!

Else, this is a deliberate cunning attempt to claim everything as belonging to them and a yet another case of cultural appropriation.

On Niladri Bije this year, we will be celebrating the sixth Rasagola Dibasa on social media.
Our sincere collective effort has been to inform everyone about our ancient continuing tradition.
Apart from being offered as a bhog/prasad on Niladri Bije, the last day of the Ratha Jatra, Rasagola has a cultural and emotional association with Odias.
High time everyone accepts this.
You can read more posts about Rasagola here.
I am writing this post as it feels terrible to find misinformation about Rasagola/Rasgulla everywhere. Time, effort, and resources spent for Rasagola awareness, Rasagola Dibasa celebration, and Odisha Rasagola GI Tag application will be suitably rewarded only when Odisha earns her due credit and recognition
Why should Odisha play second fiddle? 
Why can't facts be reported correctly? 
We do we sit quietly when there are fake news reports? 
How can the misinformation end and truth be established?
Everyone's understanding, support, and action is solicited in this regard.
Please share your views.

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