The image and reputation of Bangladesh come down to the things that are unique to us.
Jamdani is one of them.
It is a cause for celebration that Jamdani, one of the finest textiles of the country, has finally received registration as Bangladesh’s first Geographical Indication product.
Of utmost importance is that we do all we can to protect by patent all products that are instantly recognisable as Bangladeshi -- not just Jamdani saris, but also nakshi kantha, hilsa fish, and Fazli mangoes.
No doubt many Bangladeshis can now breathe a sigh of relief. The fact that India had laid claims to Jamdani saris through their Geographic Indications Registry was a cause for some tension between our two nations.
However, there can be no doubt that Jamdani truly belongs to Bangladesh. It has deep roots in the lands that presently make up Dhaka -- during Mughal times, there were handlooms in almost all villages in Dhaka district. At a Unesco conference it was declared that Jamdani was part of the “intangible cultural heritage” of Bangladesh.
Many intangible factors are at play when bringing Bangladesh’s national brand to the world.
In that respect, it is imperative that we use patent laws to protect our economically viable commodities.
It is both necessary and advantageous, not just for the sake of national pride, but also for the economy.