Laxminarayan Ramdas

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Laxminarayan Ramdas

Born5 September 1933
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Navy
Years of service1953 - 1993
RankIN Admiral Shoulder curl.png Indian Admiral.jpg Admiral
Commands heldEastern Navy
Southern Naval Command
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1971
AwardsParam Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Param Vishist Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Vir Chakra ribbon bar.svg Vir Chakra
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Vishisht Seva Medal
Ramon Magsaysay Award
Spouse(s)Lalita Ramdas
RelationsAdmiral R D Katari (Father-in-law)

Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM, ADC served as Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, taking the reins on 30 November 1990. He and his wife, Lalita Ramdas, are devoted to progressive causes, and Ramdas has served as Aam Aadmi Party's internal lokpal.[1]

Background and family[edit]

Ramdas was born on 5 September 1933 into a south Indian family. He is married to Lalita Ramdas (née Katari), daughter of Admiral Ram Dass Katari, the first Indian Chief of Naval Staff. The couple are the parents of two daughters, Sagari and Kavita. The entire family are devoted to left-liberal activism. His wife Lalita Ramdas, a committed social reformer, feminist, environmentalist, human rights activist, has served as the chair of Greenpeace International.[2] The entire family are members of the Aam Aadmi party. The younger daughter, Kavita Ramdas, is the senior advisor to the President of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker. She had previously served for many years as country representative of the Ford Foundation in India.

Career[edit]

Ramdas was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 1 September 1953. He was promoted to acting lieutenant on 14 November 1955 (seniority from 16 August).[3] He was trained as a communication specialist in the Royal Naval Staff College in the United Kingdom. As a Commander, he went on to establish and head the Naval Academy in Kochi, Kerala, he distinguished himself for which he was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).

Ramdas (3rd from right) with former chiefs and Admiral Robin K. Dhowan at the Conclave of Chiefs, 2015
Admiral Ramdas in Delhi in November 2016

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, whilst in command of INS Beas, Admiral Ramdas took part in the most effective naval blockade of East Pakistan which frustrated Pakistan's attempt to evacuate 93,000 of their troops who eventually surrendered to the Indian Forces. INS Beas also captured a large number of ships carrying contraband to East Pakistan, bombarded Cox's Bazar and took part in the landing and other operations in an area infested with mines and submarines. For his resolute, bold, gallant and imaginative action in the face of great danger, he was decorated with the Vir Chakra. He later commanded a Patrol Vessel Squadron in the Indian Navy.

Ramdas later served as Naval Attaché in Germany for three years. Promoted vice-admiral on 1 April 1985,[4] he held the appointments of Director of Personnel, Director of Naval Signals and Director of Naval Operations at the Naval HQ. Other notable appointments he held were Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF), Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DNCS) and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Southern Naval Command.

Retirement[edit]

After retirement, Ramdas took up residence at Alibag. He and his wife, Lalita, then devoted themselves to a variety of left-liberal causes and are today fully networked into the well-funded left-liberal socialite and seminar circuits. Lalita Ramdas is a committed left-liberal activist who has served as the chair of Greenpeace International.[5]

The couple do not refrain from intervening in military matters. They were part of the group which filed a PIL in the Supreme Court of India against the appointment of the then Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh for the post of Chief of Army Staff.[6]

The couple also vociferously backed the 'peoples struggle' against establishment of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu. For his seminar-circuit efforts to demilitarise and denuclearize South Asia, and his efforts to prevent the building of the Kudankulam reactor, Ramdas was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for peace in 2004, as per the citation of the award.[7]

Ramdas is also a keen sports person, enjoying cricket, golf and yachting.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official website of Aam Aadmi Party". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  2. ^ "WANMEC-Women Peacemakers by Name". Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 10 March 1956. p. 46.
  4. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 21 September 1985. p. 1326.
  5. ^ "WANMEC-Women Peacemakers by Name". Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Retired navy chief Admiral L. Ramdas challenges 'next' army chief".
  7. ^ "Citation for Laxminarayan Ramdas and Ibn Abdur Rehman". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sunith Francis Rodrigues
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
1 July 1993 - 30 September 1993
Succeeded by
Bipin Chandra Joshi
Preceded by
Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni
Chief of the Naval Staff
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Vijai Singh Shekhawat