Meet The Man Who Is The Most Celebrated Indian In China, Bronze Statue Of Him To Be Unveiled


Currently, the relation between India and China is not in the best of shape. There has been a strong sentiment of boycotting Chinese products in the country. However, there was a time when the relations were very strong.

During that time, India used to come in support of China and send help. One of the people who was sent to aid the Chinese decided to stay there for the rest of his life as he gained respect for both the countries. His name is Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis.


Dr. Kotnis was born in Solapur, Maharashtra in the year 1910 to a middle-class family. After completing his medicinal study at the Seth GS Medical College of the University of Bombay, he received a call that would change his life. It was 1938 when the Chinese were at war with the Japanese. They were in dire need of medical practitioners as soldiers suffered wounds every day. Upon the request of the Chinese leader Zhu De, the Indian National Congress leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose sent a team of five doctors. Kotnis was one among them.

His Contribution After War

In a recent report by Xinhua, a research fellow at the North China Martyr’s Memorial Cemetery and studying the life of Kotnis, he shares how Kotnis saved several lives. In the report, he says that Kotnis was sewing the wounds of the soldiers trying his best to not cause them any pain. In 1940, Kotnis performed surgeries for 72 hours straight treating more than 800 patients in 13 days. Even though he heard the demise of his father back home, he decided to stay back in China and treat the Chinese soldiers. The Chinese, till today, respect the contribution of Kotnis. They call him ‘Old Ke’ or ‘Dr. Thoughtful’.

Kotnis (1)
Courtesy: India Times

Later, he chose to stay there where he was appointed as the director of Dr. Bethune International Peace Hospital. He performed 2,000 surgeries saving many lives. He later married a Chinese woman Guo Qingland and gave birth to a child called Yinhua which means India and China.


On December 8, 1942, while writing a surgery textbook, Kotnis collapsed and passed away due to epileptic seizures at the age of 32. The Chinese leader Mao Zedong wrote in his eulogy,

“The army has lost a helping hand, the nation has lost a friend. Let us always bear in mind his internationalist spirit.”

Today, his white grave headstone in the North China Martyr’s Memorial sees many visitors who come to mourn his death. A bronze statue of Dr. Kotnis will be revealed next month. He also has a medical school named after him.


Source: Indiatimes