Laxminarayan Ramdas

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Laxminarayan Ramdas
Ramdas l.jpg
Admiral Ramdas in Delhi in November 2016
13th Chief of Naval Staff
In office
1 December 1990 - 30 September 1993
Preceded byJayant Ganpat Nadkarni
Succeeded byVijai Singh Shekhawat
Personal details
Born (1933-09-05) September 5, 1933 (age 88)
Spouse(s)Lalita Ramdas
RelationsAdmiral Ram Dass Katari
(Father-in-law)
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
Military service
Allegiance India
Branch/service Indian Navy
Years of service1953 - 1993
RankIN Admiral Shoulder curl.png 14-Indian Navy-ADM.svg Admiral
CommandsEastern Naval Command
Southern Naval Command
Eastern Fleet
INS Beas (1958)
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1971

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. 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. He is a member of the Aam Aadmi party. His younger daughter, Kavita Ramdas, is the senior advisor to the President of the Ford Foundation and had previously served for many years as country representative of the Ford Foundation in India. Kavita Ramdas is married to Zulfiqar Ahmad, a Pakistani national who is a peace activist.[2][3]

Career[edit]

Ramdas was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 1 September 1953,[4][5] with seniority as a sub-lieutenant from the same date.[6] He was promoted to lieutenant on 16 August 1955,[7] and to lieutenant-commander on 16 August 1963.[8] He was trained as a communication specialist in the Royal Naval Staff College in the United Kingdom. Promoted Commander on 30 June 1969,[9] he went on to establish and head the Naval Academy in Kochi, Kerala, he distinguished himself for which he was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal.

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

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[edit]

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, as part of the newly-formed Eastern Fleet, 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 which had been mined. He was awarded the Vir Chakra, the third-highest gallantry award.

The citation for the Vir Chakra reads as follows:[10][11]

Gazette Notification: 86 Pres/72 15-7-72

Date of Award: 1971

CITATION

COMMANDER LAXMINARAYAN RAMDAS, VSM

00132-Z

During the operations against Pakistan in December 1971, Commander Laxminarayan Ramdas was the commanding officer of an Indian naval unit of Eastern Fleet. Throughout the period of operations, he was called upon to operate within enemy waters, where there was constant danger to his ship from enemy mines and submarines. Undeterred, he carried out continuous probes into the enemy defended harbours in Bangladesh and inflicted heavy damage on the enemy. During one of the sorties, an enemy submarine was sighted close to his ship. He attacked the submarine repeatedly, which was presumably destroyed.

Throughout, Commander Laxrminarayan Ramdas displayed gallantry, leadership and devotion to duty of a high order.

Post-war[edit]

After the war, Ramdas commanded a Patrol Vessel Squadron in the Indian Navy. He later served as Naval Attaché in Germany for three years, and was promoted captain on 1 July 1976.[12] He also held the appointments of Director of Personnel, Director of Naval Signals and Director of Naval Operations at Naval HQ.

Flag rank[edit]

Ramdas was promoted acting Rear Admiral 7 April 1981 (substantive from 1 June 1981) and took over as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) at NHQ.[13][14] On 29 June 1983, he was appointed Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF). He took command of the Eastern Fleet from Rear Admiral IJS Khurana.

Ramdas was promoted Vice Admiral on 1 April 1985 and appointed Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition (CWP&A).[15] On 20 February 1986, he took over as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DNCS). After an eighteen month stint as DCNS, Ramdas was appointed Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command. He took command from Vice Admiral Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani at Kochi. In February 1989, he moved to Vizag as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command. On 26 January 1989, he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal.[16] He was at the helm of the Eastern Naval Command for about twenty months.[17]

Chief of Naval Staff[edit]

Ramdas was appointed the next Chief of the Naval Staff, succeeding Admiral Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni. He took over as CNS on 30 November 1990.[18] On 30 June 1993, with General Sunith Francis Rodrigues supperannuating, he took over as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.[19]

Retirement[edit]

After retirement, Ramdas took up residence at Alibag. He together with his wife, then devoted themselves to a variety of left-liberal causes.[20]

The couple also intervene 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.[21]

The couple opposed the establishment of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu. For his 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.[22]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official website of Aam Aadmi Party". Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  2. ^ "On a global mission". Mount Holyoke College.
  3. ^ "A Woman's Work, India native Kavita Ramdas spins her privileged background into gold for underprivileged women at S.F.'s Global Fund for Women". SFGate.
  4. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 26 December 1953. p. 284.
  5. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 24 September 1953. p. 186.
  6. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 24 September 1955. p. 186.
  7. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 23 February 1957. p. 47.
  8. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 12 October 1963. p. 351.
  9. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 17 January 1970. p. 88.
  10. ^ "Gallantry Awards | Ministry of Defence, Government of India". www.gallantryawards.gov.in.
  11. ^ "Vir Chakra (VrC), Awardee: Adm Laxminarayan Ramdass, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM, ADC @ TWDI". twdi.in.
  12. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 29 January 1977. p. 129.
  13. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 20 June 1981. p. 854.
  14. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 29 January 1983. p. 140.
  15. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 21 September 1985. p. 1326.
  16. ^ "GALLANTRY AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS FOR DEFENCE PERSONNEL" (PDF). archive.pib.gov.in. 23 January 1988. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  17. ^ "New Vice Chief of Navy, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command and Deputy Chief of Navy Announced" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 28 November 1987. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  18. ^ "ADMIRAL L RAMDAS TAKES OVER AS CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF" (PDF). archive.pib.gov.in. 30 November 1990. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  19. ^ "ADMIRAL L RAMDAS TAKES OVER AS CHAIRMAN CHIEFS OF STAFF COMMITTEE" (PDF).
  20. ^ "WANMEC-Women Peacemakers by Name". Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Retired navy chief Admiral L. Ramdas challenges 'next' army chief".
  22. ^ "Citation for Laxminarayan Ramdas and Ibn Abdur Rehman". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
Military offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
1 July 1993 - 30 September 1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of the Naval Staff
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by
S C Chopra
Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command
1989–1990
Preceded by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command
1987–1989
Succeeded by
R P Sawhney
Preceded by
S Jain
Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff
1987–1989
Succeeded by
R P Sawhney
Preceded by
I J S Khurana
Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet
1983–1985
Succeeded by
S P Govil