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18.10.14

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Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis

Every time a Chinese leader visits India, he usually meets the family of an Indian doctor who died while treating wounded Chinese soldiers in the conflict with Japan in the 1940s.

Largely unknown in the West, Dr. Kotnis was an Indian physician who was sent to China in 1938 as part of an Indian medical mission after China was invaded by Japan. He served on the frontline and saved the lives of many Chinese soldiers.


In China, he is revered as a hero to this day: stamps bearing his picture have been printed and there is a memorial to him in Hebei province. 
Dr Kotnis was chosen as one of the "top 10 foreigners" in a 2009 internet poll of China's foreign friends in a century. The doctor continues to be revered by the Chinese people.
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"The army has lost of a helping hand, the nation a friend. Let us always bear in mind his international spirit," China's former communist leader and revolutionary hero Mao Zedong reportedly said in a tribute.

But Ravi Dharon, a researcher with the Indian National Institute of Immunology, lamented  that younger Indians know little or nothing about Dr. Kotnis.
"He has made great contributions to the friendship between two nations,” he said. “It is a pity that the younger generations do not know much about him."

 His life was also the subject of a Chinese film Kē Dì Huá Dài Fū (1982, Dr. D.S. Kotnis), with a screenplay by Huang Zongjiang.
His life story was immortalized in the classic 1946 Indian film “Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani” (”The Eternal Tale of Dr. Kotnis”) by the legendary director V. Shantaram.

Sources: Wikipedia, BBC news

A/N: He is especially dear to my heart because he was born in the 'Solapur', the district I come from.

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