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Experts Demand GI Tag for Indigenous “Heritage Mahua Liquor” of Madhya Pradesh

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Indigenous Liquor
Indigenous Liquor In Jars

In the state of Madhya Pradesh, mahua, a whiskey derived from the mahua tree, will soon be offered as "heritage liquor." Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the state's chief minister, said on Monday that the government will soon implement a new excise policy that will allow tribals in the state to manufacture and sell whiskey made from mahua tree flowers in the traditional fashion. 

For the readers who are not aware of the significance of this move, mahua is the tropical tree Madhuca longifolia, which may be found primarily in the forests of central and northern India. It has a long history of producing alcoholic beverages and intoxicating chemicals that are only found in India. As a result, legalizing it is a major choice that will result in further cultural and culinary outreach due to its exclusivity. 

Due to the Mahua tree’s adaptability to arid conditions, it is found and grown in a lot of states namely Jharkhand, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and parts of Kerala, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal and even Tamil Nadu. 

Pushpesh Pant, an Indian professor, cuisine critic, and historian, believes that legalising mahua will have little effect because tribals have been brewing it for centuries, and of high quality.he also went on to say “Wherever there is ban, there is illicit liquor, death and misery.This legalisation of an indigenous thing is a bit of a tamasha.”  

However there is no denying the fact that promotion of this indigenous liquor is surely something that will help the indigenous tribes of India to meld a bit more easily with the modern Indian population. 

Khurush Dalal, an archaeologist and gastronomic anthropologist, believes that indigenous legalising liquor brewing is "about time."  “The brewing has probably been done for the last thousand years by these peoples. Their rights were trampled upon in the colonial era, to the extent that mahua trees were decimated, because it was considered puritanically wrong to consume alcohol. Mahua is technically the only flower, which is fermented for alcohol. This makes it a unique product — one that needs a GI tag. This is such an amazing alcohol wealth that we have in our country that is not celebrated.” 

This master stroke by Shivraj Singh Chouhan is just another Unique way to showcase Indian diversity and heritage to the World. 

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