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Bishnupriya Manipuri and Basmati

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

You have read right, it is Bishnupriya Manipuri and Basmati. There is something common between the two, first is a community and the later an internationally renowned variety of rice. Coincidentally, both the words begin with the alphabet "B". However, it is of their struggle for recognition, preservation of identity, that brings both of them in one platter - Bishnupriya Manipuri and Basmati. There is a crisis hovering around the two: who owns Basmati, similarly who are entitled to own "Manipuri"?

Basmati has been in news on the issue of ownership. Both India and Pakistan and other private bodies have been claiming the world-famous aromatic nice Basmati. According to the recent reports appearing in financial papers in India, after years of intense perley, India and Pakistan have finally decided registering Basmati under Geographical Indications, or simply GI. What about the other, the Bishnupriya Manipuri. It is sorry to say that there is no talking shop to discuss the identity crisis being faced by the community. There is no GI for Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Now, what is a GI registration? According to The Financial Express, GI registration is given to products with a reputation that can be attributed to its place of origin or the area where it is manufactured, like Assam tea, Darjeeling tea, Kancheepuram silk, muga silk from Assam, Mysore Agarbattis, and Champaigne. Not to mention, there are many parties, like India and Pakistan in the Basmati case, to claim on the rich culture of being called a "Manipuri".

Unfortunately, the other party like Pakistan has almost hijacked and has become the sole proprietor of being called "Manipuri". Now, what we poor souls can do in our arsenal to defend our identity? What legal recourse we can undertake so that we play the part of a level-player? Nothing, we don't have to do anything that will be detrimental to us. We have to do one thing, like Google and Xerox, we must be intelligent and must equip ourselves with intricate legal cobwebs so that when time arises at least we can fill in our "registration form" correctly, accurately, without any mistakes. Google Inc. and Xerox have objections on the common usage of their company's name!

In simple terms, the Bishnupriya Manipuri brand has to be protected and must be placed intelligently, and for this to happen, we must be abreast with the latest tools so that other people do not encroach in our territory. After all, nobody would love to see a chequered identity.

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  1. I feel there should not be any comparison btn.Bishnupriya Manipuri and Basmati as we have fought nd won the case for the word 'Manipuri'as suffix to Bishnupriya in the country`s highest court.

  2. sir, please clear the view over this suffix and prefix of the word bishnupriya / manipuri.

    we netizen dont know its development and whatever.for us it has remained the same.

    seems all the information is being censured about this developments.

  3. I think you should not compare your community with a product because there is lot of differences between the man community and the marketing product. ya i know that is ok that you all have struggled very much for making your own place.. like every community did.... but You have to keep in your mind that at last you got ur place...


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