Sunday, July 24, 2011

Royal Indian Navy [RIN] Revolt

RIN revolt is another heroic event in the history of freedom struggle. The ratings of the RIN were resentful to the racist behaviour of their English officers. They were aware of the unrest building up in the country. The immediate cause of the revolt was the poor quality of food , they were served with. On 18 February 1946 the ratings of ‘Talwar’ in Bombay harbour went on hunger strike to protest against the bad food and racial arrogance. Others in 22 ships in the neighbourhood followed suit on the following day. The strikers raised the national, the league and the red flags together. They elected a naval central committee headed by M.S.Khan. They demanded release of INA prisoners, freedom of all other political prisoners, better food, more civilized treatment and equal pay for European and Indian sailors. Fighting started on 21 February 1946. By 22February the revolt had spread to all naval bases in the country. The revolt got unprecedented popular support. Communists and socialists gave a call for the general strike on 22 February. Several hundreds died in two days as a result of street fighting.

Vallabhbhai Patel and Muhammed Ali Jinnah persuaded the ratings to surrender on 23 February. An undertaking was given by both Congress and the League that they would prevent any victimization of the ratings. But soon this assurance was forgotten. Thus ended the RIN revolt.

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