China, India mourn death of Kotnis's wife
Beijing/New Delhi, June 29 : China and India have condoled the death of late Guo Qinglan, the wife of Indian doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis who was one of Indian physicians sent to China during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938 and had went on to become a symbol of friendship between the two nations with his selfless service for the Chinese people.
She died at age 96 at Dalian in northeastern China on June 28.
China's official spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday: "Guo spent her whole life promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and India."
In Nov 2006, Guo had accompanied Chinese President Hu Jintao on a state visit to India.
India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna also earlier expressed his deep condolences at the demise of Guo Qinglan, wife of Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis.
Recalling that Dr Kotnis was a member of the Indian Medical Mission to China in the 1930s, Krishna stated that he had made great contributions in fostering friendship between the people of India and China.
The passing of Guo would be felt in both countries, as it marks the loss of a true symbol of their friendship in the modern era, he said.
Guo and Dr. Kotnis had got married in Nov 1941 but only one year later the doctor, who became a symbol of the India China friendship, died in 1942.
Kotnis had also joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1942, the year he died.
"Kotnis sacrificed his youth and life for China's national salvation," Chinese spokesperson Hong said.
"We will always remember their (Guo and Kotnis's) important contributions," the spokesperson said.
The 1910 born Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis from Solapur in Maharashtra was dispatched to China to provide medical assistance during the Second Sino-Japanese 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.
In November 1941, about a year before his death, Kotnis married Guo Qinglan who worked at the Bethune International Peace Hospital as a nurse.
Kotnis and Guo had a son who was born on August 23, 1942. Their son Yinhua combining the Chinese characters for "Yin" for India and "Hua" for China, however, died when he was only 24 in 1967, allegedly from medical negligence.
Seven years after the death of Dr Kotnis, Guo Qinglan had remarried In 1949 to a Chinese and later had a a son and a daughter from her second marriage.
The story of Dr Kotnis and Guo had inspired a famous Hindi film "Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani" made in 1946 by V. Shantaram. The legendary film personality Shantaram himself had essayed the role of Dr Kotnis.
His life was also the subject of a Chinese film K and #275; D́ Hua Dài F and #363; (1982, Dr. D.S. Kotnis), with a screenplay by Huang Zongjiang.