New Delhi: Twitter greeted Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani’s announcement of renaming the dragon fruit as it brings up associations with China with a characteristic outburst of memes and speculation on Wednesday, January 20.
On Tuesday, Rupani told reporters that the Gujarat government has decided to call the dragon fruit ‘kamalam’ and has applied for a patent.
Rupani said the fruit is largely grown in Kutch, Navsari and various parts of Saurashtra.
“The name dragon fruit is not proper, and due to its name one thinks of China. So we have given it the name ‘kamalam’,” he said.
Notably, dragon fruit comes from a cactus species indigenous to the Americas. Its association with China is feeble and largely restricted to the word ‘dragon’.
What if we renamed the Euro the rupee. That would fix the economy, right? What if we renamed the coronavirus… idk, Abanindranath. Would it just give up and do paintings?
— Samit Basu (@samitbasu) January 20, 2021
🇨🇳 – We are going to take your land 👿
🇮🇳 – We are going to rename Dragon fruit 🤓
— Amish Bengan™ 🍆 (@ChottuBnD) January 20, 2021
The fruit, Rupani said, has the outward appearance of a lotus, which the new name with Sanskrit roots will honour. “Farmers say it looks like lotus and that is the reason we have named it ‘kamalam’,” he said.
The lotus is the election symbol of the BJP and its Gujarat party unit headquarters is named Shri Kamalam.
“There is nothing political behind renaming of the fruit,” Rupani added.
Gujarat CM @vijayrupanibjp made a historic decision today for the welfare of ppl, In Gujarat Dragon Fruit will now be called Kamalam.— Yes, no kidding…it’s a legit decision.
PS: It’s important to note that @BJP4Gujarat headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.
— Saral Patel (@SaralPatel) January 19, 2021
When asked pointedly by a reporter as to why the fruit needed to be renamed, Rupani extolled its virtues and said it is found in arid regions of Gujarat, has nutritional value and is one of the most expensive fruits available.
Undeterred, Twitter users drew up references from the HBO show Game of Thrones to the everyday culinary twists given to Chinese cuisine.
And dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen will henceforth be called Kamalamma https://t.co/DhiGQ6HGn6
— Charmy Harikrishnan ചാമി ഹരികൃഷ്ണൻ (@charmyh) January 19, 2021
— Pooja Prasanna (@PoojaPrasanna4) January 20, 2021
China built a new village inside the Indian territory. We’ve changed the name of dragon fruit to ‘Kamalam’
This is yet another “masterstroke” against the dragon!👊 https://t.co/eEJVpf08pR
— Anupam | अनुपम (@AnupamConnects) January 19, 2021
Khaleesi with Kamalam. pic.twitter.com/sTopPnrQPN
— CS Amudhan (@csamudhan) January 20, 2021
(With PTI inputs)