About two hundred years ago, a special type of saree was made in Tangail of undivided Bengal. In the course of time, it became popular as Tangail saree. It was exported abroad to meet the demands of the landlords.
On February 1, Tangail saree was recognized as a GI product of India. Where it is said, the origin of this saree is in Nadia and East Burdwan of West Bengal.
After that there was a storm of criticism.
Folk researchers feel that the recognition of Tangail sarees as Geographical Indication or GI product of India is disrespectful and unreasonable.
Analysts say that the condition of GI recognition is the relationship between the product and the climate, environment and culture of the area. In case of Tangail saree which is only available in Bangladesh.
Farida Akhtar, executive director of Ubinig, a research firm, said, ‘It’s not just about hand-weaving, it involves air humidity, the Dhaleswari river. Even a special type of rice called pokhraj rice is required in that saree.’
Researchers say that due to not being aware of one’s own culture and due to the lack of monitoring by the relevant authorities, the country’s traditions are being taken over by others. Folk-literature researcher Simon Zakaria said, ‘We are not retaining our traditions. Due to which our heritage is being taken by others, but we do not feel it.’
Those concerned have also commented that India’s demand is disrespectful to other countries. Farida Akhtar, executive director of Ubinig, a research firm, said, ‘It is arrogance, a state’s disrespect for each other. How can one country’s geographical product be claimed by another?’
11 products including Jamdani saree, muslin, Rajshahi silk, Rangpur shataranji, hilsa, Bagda shrimp have received GI recognition from the International Intellectual Property Organization WIPO.