Dragon fruit to be known as ‘Kamalam’ in Gujarat

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 19, 2021

GANDHINAGAR : Gujarat : 20/01/2019 : Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani   -  THE HINDU

CM Rupani says the shape of the fruit resembles a lotus more than it does a dragon

Amid border tensions with China, dislike for the dragon country seems to have hit a new high in India. In a latest, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday announced renaming of the dragon fruit as ‘Kamalam’ (a Sanskrit word for lotus).

"The word 'dragon' is not graceful. The outer shape of the fruit resembles a lotus, hence we have applied to rename the fruit Kamalam. Globally it is known as dragon fruit, and that's why people connect it to China. We have applied for a patent to rename it Kamalam," Rupani said.

However, he was quick to trash any attempts to draw parallels with the state BJP headquarters in Gujarat, which is also named Kamalam. "There's no need to seethe due to the similarity with BJP's Kamalam," he told mediapersons.

Gujarat's forest department had earlier applied to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to rename the dragon fruit, which is also known as pitahaya or strawberry pear in different parts of the world.

Rich in nutritional content, the fruit has caught the fancy of farmers in Kutch district, where more than 150 farmers have brought 1,000 hectares under dragon fruit cultivation. State forest department officials believe that given the way in which the dragon fruit has transformed the lives of farmers, bringing prosperity to them, a name such as Kamalam would strike a better connect with local farmers.

Notably, in September 2020, Kutch farmers had requested the Gujarat government to rename the fruit Kamalam.

Earlier last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann Ki Baat radio address had specially mentioned dragon fruit cultivation as a revolution in horticulture, to increase the farmer's earnings. Apart from Gujarat, it is also cultivated in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Andaman and Nicobar islands.

The opposition Congress, meanwhile, has mocked the government's renaming of the fruit, saying that the government has run out of issues to work on.

Published on January 19, 2021

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