DMPQ- How Royal Indian Navy mutiny proved to be the last nail in the coffin for British rule in India?

The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny began at Bombay harbour on 18 February 1946 and soon spread to other parts of British India. Over 10000 sailors came to be involved in the mutiny which was suppressed by the British using force.

The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny started as a strike by ratings (a designation for a sailor subordinate to officers) demanding better food and accommodation.

The Indian sailors were treated badly by their British commanders and there were stark differences in the pay, living conditions and basic amenities of Indians and British sailors in the navy.The strike started in Bombay harbour where a contingent of ratings had arrived. The ratings of HMIS Talwar, a shore establishment also had seething discontent against their seniors for similar reasons.

On 19 February a Naval Central Strike committee was formed with Leading Signalman Lieutenant M.S. Khan and Petty Officer Telegraphist Madan Singh elected as president and vice-president respectively.The strikers were inspired by the INA trials and the persona of Subhas Chandra Bose. Soon, the strike evolved into open revolt with many cities joining the Bombay sailors. Sailors from Karachi, Calcutta, Poona, Vizag and Cochin joined involving 66 ships and shore establishments.

RIN mutiny proved to be the last nail in the coffin as it compelled British to leave India from Indian territory. British hitherto was facing resistance from outside but now the resistance starts to come from within i.e. forces. India forces were key for the success of British empire and when such force started to weaken British took the decision to leave India.

 

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