Food

'Masterstroke Against China': Twitter Has a Field Day as Gujarat CM Renames Dragon Fruit

'The name dragon fruit is not proper, and due to its name one thinks of China. So we have given it the name 'kamalam'."

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’.

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.

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.

(With PTI inputs)