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What was Indian Naval Rating mutiny 1946, what was the reason behind it and how was it controlled?

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What was Indian Naval Rating mutiny 1946, what was the reason behind it and how was it controlled?
posted Feb 18, 2016 by anonymous

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The Royal Indian Navy revolt (also called the Royal Indian Navy mutiny or Bombay mutiny) encompasses a total strike and subsequent revolt by Indian sailors of the Royal Indian Navy on board ship and shore establishments at Bombay (Mumbai) harbour on 18 February 1946. From the initial flashpoint in Bombay, the revolt spread and found support throughout British India, from Karachi to Calcutta and ultimately came to involve 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors.[1]

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It was repressed with force by the British Royal Navy. Total casualties were 7 dead and 33 wounded. Only the Communist Party supported the strikers; the Congress and the Muslim League condemned it. Historians have looked at the mutiny as a revolt against the British Raj and imperial rule.[2]

The RIN Revolt started as a strike by ratings of the Royal Indian Navy on 18 February in protest against general conditions. The immediate issues of the revolt were living conditions and food. By dusk on 19 February, a Naval Central Strike committee was elected. Leading Signalman M.S Khan and Petty Officer Telegraphist Madan Singh were unanimously elected President and Vice-President respectively.[3] The strike found some support amongst the Indian population, though not their political leadership who saw the dangers of mutiny on the eve of Independence (see below).[4] The actions of the mutineers was supported by demonstrations which included a one-day general strike in Bombay. The strike spread to other cities, and was joined by elements of the Royal Indian Air Force and local police forces.

Indian Naval personnel began calling themselves the "Indian National Navy" and offered left-handed salutes to British officers. At some places, NCOs in the British Indian Army ignored and defied orders from British superiors. In Madras and Poona (now Pune), the British garrisons had to face some unrest within the ranks of the Indian Army. Widespread rioting took place from Karachi to Calcutta. Notably, the revolting ships hoisted three flags tied together – those of the Congress, Muslim League, and the Red Flag of the Communist Party of India (CPI), signifying the unity and downplaying of communal issues among the mutineers.

The revolt was called off following a meeting between the President of the Naval Central Strike Committee (NCSC), M. S. Khan, and Vallab Bhai Patel of the Congress, who had been sent to Bombay to settle the crisis. Patel issued a statement calling on the strikers to end their action, which was later echoed by a statement issued in Calcutta by Mohammed Ali Jinnah on behalf of the Muslim League. Under these considerable pressures, the strikers gave way. However, despite assurances of the good services of the Congress and the Muslim League widespread arrests were made. These were followed up by courts martial and large-scale dismissals from the service. None of those dismissed were reinstated into either the Indian or Pakistani navies after independence.

answer Feb 19, 2016 by Ajay Kumar Topno
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