Ex Naval Chief Admiral Ramdas Passes Away at 90

  • March 15, 2024

Admiral L. Ramdas, a relentless campaigner for regional and global nuclear disarmament and peace, passed away this morning at the age of 90.


Groundxero| March 15, 2024


Admiral L. Ramdas (90) passed away this morning at the Military Hospital in Secunderabad. Born on September 5, 1933, in Matunga, Bombay, Admiral Ramdas always stood up for peace, justice and communal harmony; was a champion of India-Pakistan peace and one of the harshest critics of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.


He took over as the 13th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) on 30th November 1990 and retired from the Indian Navy in 1993. It was during his tenure as CNS that women were inducted into the armed forces with the Navy showing the lead.


After retirement, Admiral Ramdas settled in the village of Bhaimala, Alibag, Maharashtra, and along with his wife became actively involved in the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPPFD), Indo-Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace (IPSI), the anti-nuclear peace movement – Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP),  supporting the struggle against an SEZ under the 22 Gaon Bachao Andolan in Raigad district, Maharashtra, the movement for gender equality,  fisher people’s rights, the rights of farmers, the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, and many others.


Over the years, Ramdas became an outspoken voice of conscience, advocating actively for the defence of the Indian Constitution, especially the core values of liberty, equality, fraternity and secularism.


His wife and comrade Lalita Ramdas said, “We want all our friends to know that we are not mourning Ramu’s demise; we are celebrating his life and spirit. We want all our friends and comrades to celebrate ‘him’ with us; celebrate his indomitable spirit that refused to be cowed down by the mighty and the authoritarians! Ramu will continue to be with us in our peaceful struggles for secularism, peace, rights, justice and human dignity! As passionately as always…”


The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) expresses its deepest sense of sadness at the demise of one of its tallest founding members, Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas who passed away this morning at the Military Hospital in Secunderabad. 


CNDP released a statement which is published here.


Admiral Ramdas, together with his dear wife and comrade Lalita Ramdas, remained intimately and intensely engaged with the affairs of the CNDP — in its relentless campaign for regional and global nuclear disarmament and peace. Ramu, as he was known to his multitude of friends and admirers, had played a very major role in helping to stitch up a truly national coalition to fight for nuclear disarmament and peace after the May 1998 nuclear tests and those by Pakistan that promptly followed.

The CNDP was formally inaugurated in December 2000 via a grand national conference in Delhi attended by delegates and eminent speakers from all over the country and the globe. Nearly a quarter of a century later, we still have the nuclear cloud hanging over us since this remains the only part of the world where two neighbouring nuclear powers continue to have a hot-cold war that still shows no sign of ending.

Ramu understood that a positive transformation of India-Pakistan relations and indeed of cross-country relations in South Asia as a whole also requires a positive transformation within the countries that together make it up. More than many of his professional colleagues in the Navy and Armed Forces he understood that enduring military security requires, above all, the establishment of an enduring human security in all its economic, political and cultural dimensions both within and across countries. 


This is why, he and his life partner Lalita Ramdas, will remain an inspiration to the many that are involved in a host of different progressive movements. The best celebration and tribute that CNDP and others can pay to Ramu’s life and memory is by sharing his commitment to preserve and promote secularism, democracy, justice, public welfare, environmental protection and not least, nuclear disarmament. 




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