New name in Sanskrit name will be 'kamalam'

Gujarat renames dragon fruit to avoid association with China

The Indian state of Gujarat has decided to change the name of dragon fruit, claiming that the original name was associated with China.

"The Gujarat government has decided ... the word dragon fruit is not appropriate, and is associated with China. The fruit's shape is like a lotus, and hence we have given it a new Sanskrit name, kamalam," Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said last Tuesday.

Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The lotus, or kamal as it is called in Hindi, is the symbol of Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The spiky fruit will henceforth be known as kamalam in the state, said Rupani.

There are more than 200 farmers in Kutch alone who are growing dragon fruit over 1,500 acres, said a grower from the region. "The Indian name of the fruit will bring more happiness to us. We feel that the acceptance level of the fruit will also increase if it is looked upon as an Indian fruit.”

The fruit is also grown in neighbouring Maharashtra state and in northeastern India. There was no sign that local governments there were planning any name change. The opposition Congress called the name change a gimmick. As explained on¸ India and China are currently locked in a military standoff along their contested Himalayan border, after a bloody clash between troops left 20 Indian soldiers dead last June. New Delhi has responded by banning Chinese-made apps and curbing imports, with de-escalation talks appearing to have stalled.

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