My Father – the Admiral

The article below has been written by Rajiv Inamdar, the son of Rear Admiral Yashwant Inamdar and Leela Raman. Rajiv is the grandson of Sarojini (Banutai), who was the daughter of Kashinath Jatar (Bapurao), who was the eldest son of Shriram Jatar. Banutai married NL Inamdar (Annasaheb).

My father was a man of many parts.Yashwant Inamdar

He graduated from the Royal Naval College Dartmouth and The Royal Naval Engineering College, Plymouth in the UK after 6 years of training where he specialised in Marine Engineering. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, London, of the Institute of Marine Engineers, London and of the Institute of Engineers, India. He was also a graduate of the National Defence College. He also had a post-graduate diploma in taxation management from Jamnalal Bajaj Mumbai.

During his 32 year career in the Navy, he held many positions including that of Training Commander, in INS Shivaji, the Navy’s Engineering training establishment, where a building has been named after him and his handwritten technical notes on engineering subjects have been preserved for posterity in a glass exhibit. He was also the Director of Marine Engineering and head of the Navy’s Marine Engineering branch, the Asst Chief of Material at Naval Headquarters, Delhi and the Admiral Superintendent of the Naval Dockyard in Vizag where he managed 10,000 people.

A plaque below in the Centre of Marine Engineering Excellence in INS Shivaji, Lonavla that describes the exhibit in the building named after Rear Admiral Y N Inamdar.

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And below you will see a glass exhibit that contains the handwritten notes on technical subjects written by the Admiral.

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There are many handwritten notes on technical subjects that have been preserved for naval posterity by INS Shivaji, Lonavla.

He was the Chief Engineer on board the INS Brahmaputra, the first Indian Naval ship that crossed the Atlantic to go to Canada for Expo 1967

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He was also the Chairman of the Anti Missile Committee for the Ministry of Defence and a Member of the Expert team for Selection of Submarines from European countries

He was awarded an AVSM for his services to the Navy by the President of India which you can see in the photo on the right.

In his Annual Confidential Reports over the years his Commanding Officers described him as intelligent, modest, having excellent turnout and bearing , a good public speaker , writer, actor , debater and director( he directed a play called Sailor Beware which was a great hit!)  with outstanding power of expression , a natural leader, with a great sense of fairness and balance, bold with a charismatic personality, handsome, suave, polished, with good taste and colour coordination and totally incorruptible due to lack of greed.

I think that pretty much sums him up.

After retirement in 1982, he served on the National Committee for Quality Assurance which examined the working of 85 ordnance factories and took up a job as CEO of a French private sector company. This job didn’t really suit his incorruptible nature and the stress gave him a heart attack in 1987.

Following this, my parents spent a few short years with us after which they moved to Noida and then to their bungalow in Mhow where they spent several happy years. Following my mother’s illness in 2004, my parents moved in with us here in Beverly Park.

Dad could write very well and had a wonderful sense of humour. He contributed extensively to the Navy’s Quarterdeck magazine. He could also recite the entire Hanuman Chalisa from memory which he was able to do till a few months ago. His Midshipman’s journal, written in 1948/49 as a 20-year-old cadet is a fascinating description of geopolitical events of the times along with being a diary of the day’s events with beautiful handwriting and technical drawings.

My father has spent 15 years in this house with us and has been a big part of our lives. The deterioration is his health began a few years ago when he slowly lost mobility. The last few months were difficult for him due to two strokes from which he never really recovered.

Here are some tributes paid by his colleagues in the Navy

Admiral Britto – “Saddened at the loss of a great mentor, fellow engineer, and versatile personality of dignity and warmth who exuded personal and professional finesse. His Board awarded me my watchkeeping certificate”

Admiral Rajeev Paralikar – “I had the good fortune of serving on board INS Brahmaputra as his Senior Engineer Officer. He was a role model for me and was instrumental in shaping my career. I remain ever grateful to him”

Admiral BS Randhawa – “Very saddened as the passing away of your father. I had the good fortune of serving under him at an early stage of my career at the Institute of Armament Technology near Pune. I have not had a finer role model since. The world has lost a fine human being”

Admiral Vasant Koppikar – “Sorry to hear about the demise of your father whom I always held in high regard. A thorough gentleman, soft spoken and a good sense of humour. I have happy memories of our past Association in the Navy”

Admiral Sukul – Very sorry to learn about Admiral Inamdar. Such a wonderful human being and a great friend. RIP.

Admiral Radhakrishnan – “ Sorry to hear of the passing away of your dear father, a grand Admiral of the old Navy. May the noble soul rest in peace”

My father died at the ripe old age of 89 on 18 February 2019 after having lived a full life that is worth celebrating..

The article published above has also been published on this website called Atavist. Published below is a letter of condolence not available on the Atavist website:

letter

Even after many years after his retirement, the Chief of the Naval Staff wrote a condolence letter to Rajiv. This goes to show how well respected Yashwant Inamdar was in the Navy.

There is more about Rajiv Inamdar here and here, and these posts on the Inamdar Family Tree and a photograph of the Inamdar siblings will tell you a little more on the Inamdars.

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