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Indians don't even know Dr Kotnis: Sisters

Source: PTI
December 12, 2006 13:17 IST
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Sisters of legendary Indian doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis, who had served in China during World War-II, have said that a majority of Indians do not even know about their brother though respect for the heroic doctor is still increasing in China.

"Chinese people want to keep him in their memory. He is highly respected, loved and praised in China, but in India, he is becoming nobody. New generations do not know him," Dr Kotnis' 80-year-old sister Vatsala was quoted as saying by Global Times.

"Indian people have forgotten Kotnis. For years, nobody visited us out of respect for him. The people who did come are Chinese," Manaroma, another sister of Kotnis said.

"Though Dwarkanath left us, many people still remember him. We are grateful for the care taken by Chinese government and Chinese people in the past years," she said.

"None of the College Students interviewed in New Delhi know the story about Kotnis. Even in Mumbai, where many of Kotnis' relatives live, few of them know him," the paper noted.

Till now there is only one park named Kotnis in Sholapur in Maharashtra, the report said.

"Through his story, young people can understand the good relationship of China and India," Manorama said.

Kotnis, born in Sholapur in 1910 graduated from the University of Bombay in 1936 and followed a medical team dispatched by India to aid China in February 1939. There he worked as a battlefront doctor in Yan'an. Manorama also expressed her regret for the inability of Dr Kotnis' wife Guo Qinglan to visit India during Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit.

"She did not come for physical problems. We really wanted to see her," she said about her 92-year-old Chinese sister-in-law.

Despite his busy schedule, President Hu Jintao made it a point to meet the family of Kotnis in Mumbai. "Losing him is painful to all of us in the family, but we are relieved to see that he died for the right cause," Manorama said.

"All of us feel proud of him, especially the two of us. These kinds of feelings will grow as long as we are here with his statues and souvenirs," she said, adding: "It has become a theme of our life to think of our dear brother. The thought of him makes us happy."

Kotnis had two brothers and five sisters. Now only four of his sisters are living, one of them lives in US and other three in Mumbai.
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