Dr.Kotnis:An Indian Doctor Honored on Chinese Stamp

By Anurag Vajpeyi\"\"Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis (10 October  1910-9 Dec. 1942) was one of five Indian physicians dispatched to China to provide medical assistance during the Second Sino-Japan War  in 1938. Besides being known for his dedication and perseverance, he has also been regarded as an example for Sino-Indian friendship and collaboration. Both China and India released stamps in honour of Dr. Kotnis.\"\"

\"\"In 1937, after the Japanese invasion of China, the communist General requested Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru  to send Indian physicians to China. Subhash Chandra Bose, the President of the Indian National Congress, made arrangements to send a team of volunteer doctors and an ambulance by collecting a fund of Rs 22,000 on the All-Indian China Day. The key element of this mission was it was from a nation itself struggling for freedom, to another nation also struggling for its freedom. Group of  5 Indian doctors was dispatched as the Indian Medical Mission Team in September 1938. All, except Dr. Kotnis, returned to India safely.

Dr. Kotnis, who was 28 at arrival, stayed in China for almost 5 years working in mobile clinics to treat wounded soldiers. Dr. Kotnis first arrived in China at the port of Hankou, Wuhan. He was sent to Yan\’an, and was eventually to be posted as director of the Dr.Bethune International Peace Hospital  there.In 1939, Kotnis finally joined the Eighth Route Army  at the Jin-Cha-Ji border near the Wutai  Mountain Area, after his efforts all across the northern China region. The hardships of suppressed military life, stresses that were especially relevant to the front-line doctors who often had to work over 72 hours at a stretch, finally began to tell on him. He died of epilepsy  on December 9, 1942 at age 32, and was buried in the Heroes Courtyard, Nanquan Village. It is rumoured that he joined the Communist Party of China just before his death.The story of his life was the subject of a Hindi film Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani  and Chinese film  Kē Dì Huá Dài Fū (1982, Dr. D.S. Kotnis).

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3 Responses to Dr.Kotnis:An Indian Doctor Honored on Chinese Stamp

  1. Ushnish says:

    Xecellent honour,Good news Mr Anurag

  2. Sudhir Jain says:

    Good article. We are proud of Dr. Kotnis.

  3. N.A. Mirza says:

    This way we at least remember our illustrious countrymen who served the humanity, brought our country honour and pride. We would appreciate more such pieces Shri Anuragji.
    N.A. Mirza

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