40th Annual Seminar of Maritime History Society Conducted at Mumbai
The Maritime History Society conducted its 40th Annual Seminar on 22 November 2019 at Agastya Auditorium of INHS Asvini with the Theme- “Maritime Heritage: Learning through Cultural Engagement.” The Inaugural address delivered by Vice Admiral RB Pandit Chairman MHS and Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, highlighted the reason for Society’s formation and emphasised the importance of preserving Maritime Heritage. The Keynote Address by Commodore C Uday Bhaskar (Retd.), Director, Society for Policy Studies, New Delhi, dwelled comprehensively on Indian Maritime History, depiction of Sea in Literature, Art and Philosophy.
The Seminar had two Technical Sessions. The First Session was a panel discussion on “International Waters: Sea as a Cultural Connector.” Moderated by Commodore Srikant Kesnur, Director Maritime Warfare Centre, the session had Commodore Gautam Marwaha, Naval Dockyard and Sandeep Unnithan Executive Editor of India Today discuss the seas as a medium of trade and dominance. In this session they appraised the impact of the Indian Culture on the World Culture as a result of the Maritime Activity.
The Second Technical session of the Seminar was on Ship Building Heritage of India, for which Dr Rashna Poncha, Assistant Professor (History), Sophia College was the moderator. Two papers were presented by Research Associates of Maritime History Society. The first paper was on ‘Indigenous Boat Building Tradition at Mandvi, Gujarat and was presented by Ms Neha Mhatre and Ms Amruta Talawadekar.
The second paper was on ‘Built Heritage of the Bombay Dockyard in the 18th - 19th Century.’ It was presented by Ms Janhavi Lokegaonkar and Mr Dennard D’Souza focusing on contribution and role of Shipping Industry of the Bombay Dockyard that led to the creation of a bustling modern metropolis.
The Valedictory Address was given by Admiral Arun Prakash, Patron of MHS describing the Maritime History Society and its Events, Academic works and its Research Projects, collaborations with Academic Institutes and the future course of the organization. In the end, the Curator and Head of Research MHS gave the Vote of Thanks. A mini Exhibition of select artefacts and paintings was also arranged at the venue.