Early in 1946 when the trial of some principal officers of the Azad Hind Fauz had been going on at Red Fort in Delhi the principal interest in Indian politics shifted for a while to Bombay where there began a mutiny of the naval ratings.
b. Causes of the Revolt:
The ratings of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) broke out in rebellion in protest against their various grievances.
Firstly, tin discriminatory treatment meted out to the ratings by their senior naval officers created deep resentment in them.
Secondly, the revolutionary fervour generated among the ratings operated in an organizational level when the ratings themselves formed the Naval Strike Committee. This Committee had been secretly organizing the ratings to break out in rebellion for quite some time.
Thirdly, it may be said without any fear of contradiction that the discontent of the ratings was fired by the spirit of freedom inspired by the Indian national movement.
Fourthly, the sentence of transportation for life to the three generals of the Azad Hind faux provoking the ratings of the Royal Indian Navy to raise the banner of revolt was also due to the weakness of the British in the postwar days In fact.
Britain, though it emerged victorious in the war, lost all its prestige as an important Power She had also become weak militarily and economically.
Thousands of ratings of the Royal Indian Navy took this opportunity to strike the British.
c. The Revolt:
18 February, 1946 was the day when the ratings broke out in rebellion The lead was taken by the ratings of the naval ship Talwar, in Bombay port, who were soon joined by the ratings of the other naval establishments.
The revolt soon spread like wildfire to the naval ships anchored in Calcutta, Madras, Karachi and other ports. The demands of the rebel ratings were: I. immediate release of the Azad Hind Generals 2.
Improvement in the quality of food served to the ratings 3. Not to employ Indian soldiers against the freedom-fighters of Indonesia.
d. Spread of the Revolt:
The revolt of the ratings of the Royal Indian Navy, however, did not remain confined to them alone. Soon they were joined by the air force and, general army.
There were sympathetic strikes among the air force and army corps. Even common people came out in support of the ratings; and demonstrations and strikes were held all over the country.
However, before the situation could take a serious turn an understanding was reached and the strikes, etc. were called off through the mediation of Vallalhbhai Patel.
e. Importance of the Revolt:
The revolt of the ratings of the RlN occupies an important place in the history of the Indian freedom movement.
So long the Indian sepoys or soldiers had been the main instrument through which the British were able to maintain their hold on the Indian Empire.
But the naval revolt proved beyond doubt that the armed forces also have affiliated their discontent with the prevailing patriotic upsurge of the common people.
This convinced the British authorities that they could no longer rely upon the Indian soldiers to maintain their hold on India.
The revolt of the ratings of the Royal Indian Navy was followed by an announcement by the British expressing willingness, to end their rule over India.