Royal Indian Navy (RIN) Mutiny 1946

On February 18, 1946, a section of non-commissioned officers and sailors known as Ratings, serving in the Royal Indian Navy, mutinied against the British Officers.

The mutiny started as a strike by the ratings to protest against the hardships regarding pay, food and racial discrimination.

  • In the same night, a Naval Central Strike committee was created by the Ratings.
  • This committee was presided by Signalman M.S Khan and Vice president was Petty Officer Telegraphist Madan Singh.

    The populace of India was already fascinated by the heroic tales of the Indian National Army. So, the strikes and hartals spread from Bombay to Calcutta, Madras and even Karachi. The foolish British commander made some derogatory remarks on the nationality of these personnel and the result was that they took possession of some ships, mounted guns over there and started firing.

  • The mutineers hoisted three flags tied together on the ships which they had captured -One of Congress, One of Muslim League, and the third Red Flag of the Communist Party of India.

    The mutiny was ended by intervention of Sardar Patel, who after a meeting with M. S. Khan made a statement of ending the strike. The similar statement was made by Jinnah in Calcutta. The mutineers surrendered but despite the assurances of Congress and Muslim League, many mutineers were arrested, subjected to court martial and dismissed from the services.

    The violence broke out in Mumbai and over 200 people lost lives in this disturbance. The mutiny made an impression on the British, that it would be better to leave the country. On February 19, the second day of this mutiny, Cabinet Mission was sent to India.

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