. The Royal Indian Navy (RIN) revolt started in February 1946 at Mumbai when the naval ratings on HMIS Talwar protested against the poor quality of food and racial discrimination by British officers. From the initial flashpoint in Mumbai, the revolt spread and found support throughout India, from Karachi to Kolkata, and ultimately came to involve over 20,000 sailors in 78 ships and shore establishments.
Karachi was a major centre, second only to Bombay. Sympathetic strikes took place in military establishments in Madras, Vishakhapatnam, Calcutta, Delhi, Cochin, Jamnagar, the Andamans, Bahrain and Aden. A revolt in the armed forces, even if soon suppressed, had a great liberating effect on the minds of people.
The naval mutiny proved to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India. India was seen to be on the brink of a revolution. The mutiny witnessed the demoralization of the British officials and the changing loyalties of Indian officials. However, communal unity evident in the RIN revolt was limited despite the Congress, League and Communist flags being jointly hoisted on the ships’ masts. Muslim ratings went to the League to seek advice on future action for Pakistan. The Indian National Congress and the Muslim League condemned the mutiny, while the Communist Party of India was the only party that supported the rebellion.
The revolt was called off following a meeting between the President of the Naval Central Strike Committee (NCSC), M. S. Khan, and Sardar Vallabhai Patel who had been sent to Bombay to settle the crisis.
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