柯棣华

Dwarkanath Shan­taram Kot­nis (1910-1942)

That's China - - Er Wai Prologue 二外序曲 -

One of the five In­dian physi­cians dis­patched to China to pro­vide med­i­cal as­sis­tance dur­ing the Sec­ond Sino-Ja­panese War in 1938, Dwarkanath Shan­taram Kot­nis is known by the Chi­nese peo­ple as Ke Di­hua and re­mem­bered for his ded­i­ca­tion and per­se­ver­ance that left a bril­liant foot­note to China-In­dia friend­ship. Along with the Cana­dian Dr. Nor­man Bethune, he con­tin­ues to be revered

n d by the Chi­nese peo­ple many years af­ter his death. The docto r loved China so much that he named his son, born amidst the war flames of 1942, af­ter his adopted na­tion. Born to a mid­dle class Marathi fam­ily in So­la­pur, Ma­ha­rash­tra, he stud­ied medicine at the Univer­sity of Bom­bay. The 28-year-old Doc­tor landed in the war-in­flicted China and stayed in China for al­most 5 years work­ing in ex­tremely stress­ful con­di­tions in mo­bile clin­ics. In one long-drawn out bat­tle against Ja­panese troops in 1940, Dr. Kot­nis per­formed op­er­a­tions for up to 72 hours with­out get­ting any sleep. In 1940, he met Guo Qinglan, a nurse at the Bethune Hospi­tal. They got mar­ried a year later. Only three months af­ter the birth of his son, a se­ries of epilep­tic seizures killed the doc­tor on 9 De­cem­ber 1942.

Dwarkanath Kot­nis is com­mem­o­rated to­gether with Dr. Bethune, and Scot­tish mis­sion­ary and ath­lete, Eric Lid­dell in the Mar­tyrs' Memo­rial Park in Shi­ji­azhuang, He­bei prov­ince, China. The en­tire south wing of the memo­rial is ded­i­cated to Dr. Kot­nis, where there is a great statue in his hon­our. A small mu­seum there con­tains a hand­book of vo­cab­u­lary that Kot­nis wrote on his pas­sage from In­dia to China, some of the in­stru­ments that the sur­geons used in their med­i­cal fight for life, and var­i­ous pho­tos of the doc­tors, some with the Com­mu­nist Party of China's most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures, in­clud­ing Mao Ze­dong. The story of his life was the sub­ject of a 1946 Hindi film and a Chi­nese film with the screen­play by Huang Zongjiang.

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