22nd April 2021

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China will unveil a bronze statue of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis

A bronze statue of the Indian physician Dwarkanath Kotnis, revered in China for his contributions during the Chinese revolution led by its founder Mao Zedong and World War II, will be unveiled outside a north Chinese medical school next month, according to the responsable media in Beijing.

  • Kotnis, a native of Sholapur in Maharashtra, came to China in 1938 as part of a team of five doctors sent by the National Congress of India to aid the Chinese during World War II. He joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1942 and died the same year at the age of 32.
  • The bronze statue of Kotnis, known in China as Ke Dihua, is said to have been officially unveiled at the Shijiazhuang Medical College in September, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.
  • Kotnis’ medical assistance during the difficult days of the Chinese revolution has been praised by Chinese leader Mao Zedong. His statues and monuments have also been installed in some Chinese cities in recognition of his services.
  • He is married to Chinese citizen Guo Qinglan, who died in 2012. In addition to the school named after him as Shijiazhuang Ke Dihua Specialized Medical Sciences Secondary School, there are Kotnis memorials in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital Hebei and Tangxian, where he once worked.
  • The late Chinese leader Mao Zedong was deeply affected by his death, according to the report.
  • Mao wrote in his eulogy that “the army has lost a helping hand, the nation has lost a friend. Let us always keep in mind his internationalist spirit ”.
  • According to Liu Wenzhu, an official at Shijiazhuang Ke Dihua Specialized Secondary Medical School, since the school was founded in 1992, more than 45,000 medical professionals have graduated from it.
  • Each of the new students and staff must swear in front of a Kotnis stone statue that they will work like him, he said. Liu hopes that Kotnis will be remembered not only as a symbol that inspires medical students to work hard, but also as an eternal bond between the peoples of China and India. “We are the two most populous countries in the world … We must always be friends, coexist peacefully,” he told Xinhua.
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