In order to obviate instances like those in the past of foreigners claiming intellectual property rights for Indian goods and inventions, a Pune-based organisation has sought geographical exclusivity for the famous headgear 'Puneri Pagadi'.
The pagadi is considered as a symbol of pride and honour in the region.
Pune-based Shree Puneri Pagadi Sangh has submitted an application before the Geographical Indication Registry, seeking the GI (geographical indication) tag for the turban.
“An early IPR protection of Puneri Pagadi will obviate the country's past experiences in cases like Basmati rice and turmeric, where we fought to prove that these originated in India,” Sangh's representative Great Mission Group Consultancy's Ganesh Hingmire said.
According to the information available with the official Journal of the Geographical Indication, Sangh has sought GI status for Puneri Pagadi under “Class 25”, which deals with clothing, footwear and headgear products.
“We are also seeking the GI tag for Puneri Pagadi with an aim to preserve the culture and a significant identity of the city,” Hingmire further said.
The application claims that Mahadev Govind Ranade introduced the prevalent “Puneri Pagadi” for the first time nearly two centuries ago.
Since then, it has been worn by great leaders and famous personalities like Lokmanya Tilak, J S Karandikar, D D Sathye, Tatyasaheb Kelkar and Dato Waman Pottdar.
“Puneri Pagadi” has now become a matter of heritage, the Sangh claims.
“In addition to this it is in use to felicitate the Guest of Honour.... Thus it totally adheres to Puneri culture and must be preserved ...,” the Sangh has claimed.
Under legal protection, the GI tag helps if there is any violation of its exclusive rights. The GI tag aims at promoting the economic prosperity of producers of goods in a geographical area.
Usually, the tag is granted to goods that essentially originate and are produced in a defined geographical locality and region. Geographical indications are covered as part of intellectual property rights. The GI tag has been awarded to a number of Indian products or goods, including the famous Darjeeling tea.