The 110th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian doctor who came to aid China during the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, fell on October 10, 2020. The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and Peking University South Asia Research Center jointly organized an online commemorative event. Lin Songtian, president of CPAFFC, Jiang Jingkui, a professor of Indian Studies at Peking University, and Minister of Chinese Embassy in India Ma Jia, as well as about 300 university teachers, students and media representatives of China and India, attended the online event.
The commemorative short film Calling for Peace with Life, Upholding Justice with Blood, produced by the CPAFFC, was premiered at the event. The film reviewed the short and glorious life of Dr. Kotnis and reproduced his international spirit of boundless love and selfless dedication. Subsequently, the award ceremony of the “Kotnis in My Heart” short video collection event for Chinese and Indian university students was held online. Ten outstanding short video works including Dwarkanath Kotnis, A Great Internationalist Doctor Who Learned Chinese in the Flames of War produced by Wang Xiaokun and other students of Peking University, Dwarkanath Kotnis’ Experience and Work produced by Archie Bisht and other students of Doon University of India, won the awards. After the awards ceremony, Lin Songtian had a candid dialogue with the teachers and students of the universities of China and India, including representatives of award-winning university students of the two countries, on promoting the spirit of Dr. Kotnis, correctly understanding the current Sino-Indian relationship, and promoting Sino-Indian youth and cultural exchanges.
Lin Songtian said that this year coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. Now the world is undergoing major changes unseen in a century and Sino-Indian relations are facing temporary difficulties. Therefore, it is of great significance for us to solemnly hold activities in commemoration of the 110th anniversary of Dr. Kotnis’ birth. We hope to cherish the memory of this good friend of the Chinese people and an outstanding internationalist fighter, and call on the Chinese and Indian people, especially the younger generations of the two countries, to further carry forward the international humanitarian spirit of Dr. Kotnis, jointly maintain peace in Asia and promote world prosperity and development.
Lin said that there have been temporary difficulties and some noise in the Sino-Indian relations recently, but the young students of the two countries did not stop creating short videos because of this. Instead, they commemorated Dr. Kotnis in their own way by incorporating their deep expectation for peace and friendship between China and India into their short video works, restoring history and bringing back Dr. Kotnis’ spirit with vivid examples and rich forms. Through the wonderful short videos, we deeply feel that the friendship between China and India is not only embodied in the war years when jointly fighting against fascism, but also has a broad public opinion support and social foundation in the new era. The CPAFFC is willing to work with all walks of life in China and India to build more platforms for friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and India, and make new and greater contributions to the sustained, healthy and stable development of China-India relations.
The teachers and students of the two countries expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the CPAFFC and Peking University South Asia Research Center for organizing the Dr. Kotnis commemorative event during the special period of China-India relations and building a China-India communication platform. Professor Jiang said that the current mutual suspicions and misunderstandings between the Chinese and Indian people are largely due to the lack of mutual communication and mutual understanding. He hopes that Chinese and Indian college students who learn each other’s national languages will shoulder the important task of telling the stories of China-India friendship, spreading the cultures of China and India, and enhancing the understanding and mutual trust between the two nations.
Since its launch in June this year, the “Kotnis in My Heart” short video collection event for Chinese and Indian college students, co-sponsored by the CPAFFC and Peking University South Asia Research Center, has received enthusiastic responses from college students in the two countries. Students from 14 universities have created 54 excellent short video works. After review by the expert committee, ten outstanding works were selected. The winning works are now displayed on the CRI website.