The Royal Indian Navy revolt (also called the Royal Indian Navy mutiny or Bombay mutiny) encompasses a total strike and subsequent revolt by Indian sailors of the Royal Indian Navy on board ship and shore establishments at Bombay (Mumbai) harbour on 18 February 1946. From the initial flashpoint in Bombay, the revolt spread and found support throughout British India, from Karachi to Calcutta and ultimately came to involve 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors.
Indian National Army
Flag of Azad Hind.svg
Revolutionary conspiracy of WW I Rash Behari Har Dayal Tarak Nath Ghadr Chatto Berlin Committee Bagha Jatin Barkatullah Kabul mission Provisional Government of India Imperial Japan Pan Asianism Greater East Asia more
Giani Pritam Singh Swami Satyananda Puri Indian National Council I Fujiwara F Kikan K.P.K. Menon A.M. Sahay S.A. Ayer Rash Behari Bose Bidadary Resolutions Tokyo Conference H Iwakuro I Kikan Bangkok Conference Azad Hind Hikari Kikan Azad Hind Dal Karim Ghani more
Subhas Chandra Bose
Indian National Congress C.R. Das Sarat Bose Gandhi Nehru Purna Swaraj Bengal Volunteers Emilie Schenkl Forward Bloc Indian Legion U-180 Abid Hasan Azad Hind Habib-ur-Rahman Death more
Battle of Malaya Mohan Singh Fall of Singapore Farrer Park First INA First Arakan offensive Hindustan Field Force Jiffs Azad Brigade Gandhi Brigade Nehru Brigade Subhas Brigade Bahadur Group Tokyo Boys Rani of Jhansi Regiment Andaman and Nicobar Islands M.Z. Kiani Lakshmi Sahgal A.D. Loganathan J.R. Bhonsle Janaki Davar Shaukat Malik Rasammah Bhupalan John Thivy Battles Burma theatre Ha-Go U-Go Battle of Imphal Battle of Kohima Battle of Irrawaddy Battle of Meiktila Surrender of Japan Controversies more
Red Fort trials
CSDIC Dhillon Sahgal Shah Nawaz Burhan-ud-Din INA Defence Committee Kailash Nath Katju Asaf Ali Tej Bahadur Sapru Bhulabhai Desai Jawaharlal Nehru Bombay mutiny more
Azad Hind Radio Battaglione Azad Hindoustan Special Bureau for India Azad Hind Decorations War in South-East Asia Selarang Barracks Incident Japanese occupation of Burma Burma Area Army Masakasu Kawabe India in World War II 14th Army William Slim Japanese occupation of Indonesia Malaysian Indian Congress Joyce Lebra Peter Fay Hugh Toye more
Portal icon Indian independence movement portal
v t e
It was repressed with force by the British Royal Navy. Total casualties were 7 dead and 33 wounded. Only the Communist Party supported the strikers; the Congress and the Muslim League condemned it. Historians have looked at the mutiny as a revolt against the British Raj and imperial rule.
The RIN Revolt started as a strike by ratings of the Royal Indian Navy on 18 February in protest against general conditions. The immediate issues of the revolt were living conditions and food. By dusk on 19 February, a Naval Central Strike committee was elected. Leading Signalman M.S Khan and Petty Officer Telegraphist Madan Singh were unanimously elected President and Vice-President respectively. The strike found some support amongst the Indian population, though not their political leadership who saw the dangers of mutiny on the eve of Independence (see below). The actions of the mutineers was supported by demonstrations which included a one-day general strike in Bombay. The strike spread to other cities, and was joined by elements of the Royal Indian Air Force and local police forces.
Indian Naval personnel began calling themselves the "Indian National Navy" and offered left-handed salutes to British officers. At some places, NCOs in the British Indian Army ignored and defied orders from British superiors. In Madras and Poona (now Pune), the British garrisons had to face some unrest within the ranks of the Indian Army. Widespread rioting took place from Karachi to Calcutta. Notably, the revolting ships hoisted three flags tied together – those of the Congress, Muslim League, and the Red Flag of the Communist Party of India (CPI), signifying the unity and downplaying of communal issues among the mutineers.
The revolt was called off following a meeting between the President of the Naval Central Strike Committee (NCSC), M. S. Khan, and Vallab Bhai Patel of the Congress, who had been sent to Bombay to settle the crisis. Patel issued a statement calling on the strikers to end their action, which was later echoed by a statement issued in Calcutta by Mohammed Ali Jinnah on behalf of the Muslim League. Under these considerable pressures, the strikers gave way. However, despite assurances of the good services of the Congress and the Muslim League widespread arrests were made. These were followed up by courts martial and large-scale dismissals from the service. None of those dismissed were reinstated into either the Indian or Pakistani navies after independence.