Why Gujarat Is Renaming Dragon Fruit "Kamalam"

The dragon fruit will be known as "Kamalam" in Gujarat as the original name "is associated with China", Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Tuesday.

Why Gujarat Is Renaming Dragon Fruit 'Kamalam'

The dragon fruit will be known as "Kamalam" in Gujarat.

The Dragon Fruit will be renamed "Kamalam" in Gujarat as it is shaped like a lotus and the original name "is associated with China", Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Tuesday.

"The state government has decided rename the Dragon Fruit. As the outer shape of the fruit resembles a lotus, hence Dragon Fruit shall be renamed as Kamalam," the Chief Minister was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

"The name of Dragon Fruit associated with China and we have changed it," he added.

The word "Kamalam" is Sanskrit for the Lotus, which is the party symbol of the ruling BJP. It is also the name of the BJP office in Gujarat.

According to the Chief Minister, the Gujarat government has applied for a patent to rename the exotic fruit, which is mostly imported from South America but is now grown in several states.

The announcement drew a flurry of reactions on social media.

"The dragon has been slayed," joked Congress MP Karti Chidambaram

"Hallelujah! The dragon has been shown its place... oh wait, I meant dragonfruit," tweeted Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi.

Over the past few years, the Dragon Fruit has become a popular addition to the diet in the country and has emerged as a money-spinner for farmers in Gujarat, mainly in Bhuj, Gandhidham and Mandvi.

In July last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned the fruit in his monthly radio show "Mann Ki Baat" and had given a shout-out to the farmers of Kutch for growing the imported fruit as part of his government's mission of "Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)".

PM Modi also listed the nutritional benefits of the fruit, which is high in vitamins and minerals.

Farmers in Gujarat had already started branding it as "Kamalam Fruit" in local markets. According to the state government, the name has instant connect with local farmers.