Cochin Shipyard Limited – CPPR | Memorial Talk on Maritime Legacy of Sardar K M Panikkar and India’s Maritime Identity

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Cochin Shipyard Limited – CPPR | Memorial Talk on Maritime Legacy of Sardar K M Panikkar and India’s Maritime Identity

Event Start Date:
January 17, 2024
Event End Date:
January 17, 2024
Event Venue:
Grand Hotel, Kochi, Kerala


The Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), Kochi, in partnership with Cochin Shipyard Limited, is organising a memorial talk titled ‘The Maritime Legacy of Sardar K M Panikkar and India’s Maritime Identity.’ The event aims to commemorate the legacy of Sardar Panikkar, reminisce about his contribution to India’s maritime past, and draw inferences about contemporary relevance.

Date: 17 January 2024

Time: 5 to 7 PM IST

Venue: Grand Hotel, Kochi, Kerala



Sardar K M Panikkar was one of the pioneer voices in India who extensively highlighted India’s maritime outreach. In his seminal works ‘India and the Indian Ocean’ (1945) and ‘The Strategic Problems of the Indian Ocean’ (1944), among others, Sardar Panikkar questions European historians who grievously assume that the maritime tradition first evolved in the “limited” waters of the Aegean Sea. Sardar Panikkar argues that aeons before Columbus and many others sailed and crossed the Atlantic and the Pacific, the Indian Ocean had witnessed a thoroughfare of commercial and cultural transactions between the west coast of India and Babylon, as well as the Levant in the Mediterranean. K M Panikkar’s maritime perspective was embedded in Indian maritime tradition, history, and culture. With the salient maritime legacy of civilizational India in perspective, Panikkar envisioned that post-Colonial India would emerge on the global maritime geopolitics in its generic scope and the Indian Ocean-Asia Pacific-Pacific Ocean in its specific scope. He has drawn his perspectives from the rich and long history of India’s maritime connection with the Arab world and from the era of British dominance of the Indian Ocean region during the 19th and 20th centuries.



  1. The legacy of Sardar K M Panikkar in maritime studies, his major works, and his perspectives on India’s maritime identity.
  2. Analysis of India’s maritime past and present and contemporary relevance of Panikkar’s thoughts in India’s maritime strategy.
  3. India’s oceanic power in the Indo-Pacific, the evolution of India’s oceanic thinking: Analysis of India’s maritime identity and its maritime posture—drawing inferences from Panikkar’s geostrategic thoughts.




Vice Adm Anil Kumar Chawla, PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, PhD (Retd.)

Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla superannuated from the Indian Navy on 30 November 2021 as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Navy’s Southern Command after four decades of distinguished service to his country. Over the course of his career, he has commanded five warships, including the aircraft carrier, INS Viraat and the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet. Possessing wide experience in maritime operations, defence acquisition, military diplomacy, human resource management and training, he is an accomplished maritime thinker and author, having been responsible for drafting the Maritime Strategy and several other key capability development documents for the Indian Navy. He has also carried out a number of joint studies and authored several significant reports for the Indian Armed Forces. He has completed his PhD thesis on “The Role of Maritime Power in China’s Grand Strategy” from Bombay University. Highly decorated, he is also a keen environmentalist and was conferred the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Environment Management Award’ in 2020. An active contributor to various defence journals, he is currently an Eminent Resource Faculty for the Rashtriya Raksha University and a Council Member of the United Services Institute, as also several other think tanks, besides being involved in various social and environmental initiatives. He is also actively involved in several DRDO projects/ studies.


Vice Adm M P Muralidharan, AVSM & BAR, NM (Retd.)

Vice Admiral M P Muralidharan, retired in February 2013 as the 19th Director General of the Indian Coast Guard. A specialist in Navigation and Direction and a Post Graduate in Defence Studies, the Admiral in a career spanning close to four decades in the Indian Navy, has held several key Operational and Staff appointments, including command of three warships. As Flag Officer, he commanded the Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area, was the first Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy and Chief of Personnel of the Navy. Post-retirement, the Admiral was appointed as a Member of the Armed Forces Tribunal at its Regional Bench at Kochi, an appointment equivalent to a sitting Judge of a High Court. During his tenure of four years, the Admiral authored nearly 500 judgements. The Admiral, a keen student of Strategic and Defence-related Issues with a special focus on maritime affairs, is a member of various strategic study societies and institutions. He is a regular contributor to professional journals and a speaker and panellist at various seminars and conferences.