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Hamdard India head on why Rooh Afza is an Indian drink: ‘It is older than Pakistan and Bangladesh’

Black_cats

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Hamdard India head on why Rooh Afza is an Indian drink: ‘It is older than Pakistan and Bangladesh’​

The history of the drink goes back to pre-Partition India -- all the way back to a single family -- when there did not exist any Pakistan, or even Bangladesh​


Curated by Prerna MittraNew Delhi | September 14, 2022 6:20:00 pm

Rooh Afza was originally a medicine, more than a drink or a sherbet, and it has cooling properties, which is why it is always in demand in summers, said Hamdard India CEO.

Rooh Afza has been a much-loved cooling drink consumed by people across the length and breadth of the country for generations — especially during the unforgiving summer months and at the time of Ramzan, when there is both fasting as well as feasting.

Its consumption, however, is not limited to India. People of Pakistan are big Rooh Afza drinkers, too, as are those living in Bangladesh, both of which are neighbours to India and were carved out of it during the Partition of 1947.

Needless to say, the three countries share many similar cultures.

Recently, the Delhi High Court directed Amazon India to remove the listing of a drink manufactured by a Pakistani company under the same name ‘Rooh Afza’ from its platform, possibly to avoid confusion in the mind of an Indian consumer.

Indian Express reported that the order came after a plea was filed by the Indian social welfare NGO Hamdard National Foundation, which stated that the ‘Rooh Afza’ listed on the e-commerce site in India are not all manufactured by Hamdard Laboratories (India), but by Pakistani companies whose details are not mentioned on the packaging.

Interestingly, the history of the drink goes back to pre-Partition India — all the way back to a single family — when there did not exist any Pakistan, or even Bangladesh. We reached out to Hamid Ahmed, the CEO and trustee of Hamdard Laboratories (India), Food Division, and the grandson of Hakim Abdul Hamid — the founder of Hamdard that was started in 1906 — who said that the trademark of the drink is held by Hamdard Laboratories (India).


“This product cannot be sold [by any other enterprise] either directly or through grey channels in India, because it is already manufactured here. This is why we discussed the matter with Amazon and other e-commerce players, who showed their inability to take it out. We had no other option but to then approach the high court,” Ahmed told this outlet.

Ahmed explained that back in 1906, there was only one Hamdard. “But after 1947, while my great-grandfather stayed back in India along with one of his sons, his other son — Hakim Mohammed Said — moved to Pakistan to start another Hamdard there. Then, when Bangladesh came into existence in 1971, there came into being a third Hamdard: Hamdard Bangladesh. But all three manufacture Rooh Afza,” he stated.


Ahmed said that the first-ever branded product that was manufactured by Hamdard in 1907 was the humble Rooh Afza. “[This drink] is older than even the birth of Pakistan and Bangladesh! It is an Indian product and we wanted to save the Indian market from infiltration by the grey market.”

The CEO also said that Rooh Afza was originally a medicine, more than a drink or a sherbet, and it has cooling properties, which is why it is always in demand in summers. “While its ingredients have remained the same over the years, manufacturing has changed because new technology has now come in. In 1907, when it was launched, it was perhaps made inside a small kitchen, but today it is prepared with state-of-the-art technology in factories.

“We use extracts of cooling vegetables, fruit juices, and fragrances to prepare the drink. Now, there is also a sugar-free variant.”

 

Olympus81

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What is this khus sharbat? Bhen ki kus lol

Rooh Afza is quite good. Put it with milk. I prefer the Pakistani version but the Indian one is quite good as well.
 

Bengal71

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Rooh Afza is only consumed during Ramadan in BD, that too not in great quantity. It's not as popular in BD as it is in Pakistan and India.
 

Black Tornado

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Room afza is meant to cool you down. But it's doing the opposite to Sanghis.
What has it got to do with “sanghis”, it is a company founded and run by Indian Muslims who just showed their concerns for imported Rooh Afza which comes from Pakistan and Bangladesh and according to them are fake as their Hamdard is the real brand and their Rooh Afza is the original product.
 

Maula Jatt

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@Destranator I think in Pakistan we drink this one more than rooh afza
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