Debate Ignites on Geographic Claim Privileges for Tangail Sarees

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Controversy Surrounding Tangail Sarees Ignited by Geographical Indication Dispute

An announcement from the Indian Ministry of Culture has sparked a controversy with our neighbors in Bangladesh. As per our sources, the ministry announced that it has secured Geographical Indication (GI) rights for Tangail sarees, asserting its origin in West Bengal. This, however, did not sit well with the people of Bangladesh who claim the saree links strongly to their culture.

The Dispute: More Than Just Apparel

Considering the deeper cultural significance of the Tangail saree, it symbolizes more than attire in Bangladesh; it is a symbol of national heritage and identity. Our reporters discovered that, surprisingly, the Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) of Bangladesh did not receive any GI rights application for these sarees until the news of the dispute came to light. This reveals a crucial oversight in the protection of their cultural assets.

GI Status and Economic Advantage

As a point of interest, holding a GI status can potentially enhance a product’s international market value by as much as 20 to 30 percent. While Bangladesh has 21 products enjoying this GI status, the acquisition process is complex, requiring stakeholders to submit an application. The DPDT’s unanswered calls for Tangail sarees lists and other potential GI products show a prevailing unawareness and urgency shortcomings towards maintaining their cultural heritage on a global platform.

Action Towards Resolution

Our sources reveal that following this unforeseen tussle with India, authorities in Bangladesh have now begun the application process for GI recognition of their Tangail sarees. They are also looking into various routes for dispute resolution, be it through ministerial agreements or presenting an appeal to the World Intellectual Property Organization. And with historic evidence showing the existence of Tangail sarees for over 250 years, Bangladesh’s claim has some compelling backing.


In conclusion, this incident highlights the significance of Geographical Indication recognition in preserving cultural assets and boosting economic prospects. It’s a wake-up call for countries to actively protect their traditional products before they become the center of such unprecedented disputes.


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