The Gujarat government recently baffled many after announcing that the rather exotically named 'dragon fruit' was henceforth to be called "Kamalam". As India grows increasingly disenchanted with everything even remotely linked to China, the state government is looking to remove the offensive name.
"The State government has decided rename Dragon Fruit. As the outer shape of the fruit resembles a lotus, hence Dragon Fruit shall be renamed as Kamalam," said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Interestingly, dragon fruit despite having the name of a mythical creature popular in Chinese culture and folklore might not have much to do with the country itself. As an official webpage on the Singapore government website notes, the while the origin of the fruit is not known, it is "probably native to Central America". The site adds that it is popular in southeast Asia and that China is among several countries that are trying to grow the fruit.
Not only that, Kamalam is only the latest in a list of existing names that dragonfruit already has. Mexico for example, calls it pitahaya, while it is called pitaya roja in Central America and northern South America.
The change of name has baffled many online. While some lost no time in poking fun at the BJP-led Gujarat government, others noted that changing the name of a fruit did not change it's history or origin. Needless to say, these are others still who dislike the name dragon fruit on principle, opening as the government did, that the name of the fruit was linked to China. And as is wont to happen with almost every topic in recent years, there is now a Twitter debate brewing.
While some have resorted to making memes, others demand that other fruits too be renamed after items that they resemble. Others raked up the fact that multiple cities in India have also been renamed in the recent past.
"Is the Gujarat CM competing with or mocking the UP CM? Suggest it would be best if the BJP govt constitutes a ‘National Renaming Council’ to keep these CMs occupied, considering that’s the only thing they’re good at, and save their states from misgovernance," jibed Shashi Tharoor.
"Hence Proved ! Dragon is Lotus Lotus is Dragon," read a cryptic post from Youth Congress president Srinivas B V.
Take a look at some of the posts: