Model Question and Answers for APSC | In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?
In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?
Ans: The mutiny of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN), which broke out on February 18, 1946, and, in only five days, delivered a mortal blow to the entire structure of the British Raj. The RIN Mutiny began in Bombay, and spread throughout British India, covering 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors.
The immediate cause of the RIN mutiny was dissatisfaction over the general conditions in the Navy. The Navy (as also the Air Force and the military forces) had been a part of World War II, and they were greatly dissatisfied with the treatment meted out to them on their return.
The last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India
- ‘For the first time, the blood of men in the Services and in the streets flowed together in a common cause’.
- RIN mutiny happened at a time when the withdrawal of the British from India was obvious
- The revolt was within the pillar of the British administration of armed forces which played a significant role in establishing the British Empire and crushing rebellions.
- The Royal Indian Navy (RIN) mutiny took place in the aftermath of the Indian National Army (INA) Trials and the revolt of the Royal Air Force. The Indian masses were already in a frenzy over these recent events.
- The revolt in the armed forces had a liberating effect on the minds of the people. The revolt strongly protested the arrest of rating for scrawling quit India on HMIS Talwar.
- The mutiny also found widespread support among the people who were already discontent with the British establishment. Also, as the mutiny grew, members of the Royal Indian Air Force and the armed forces also joined in the rebellion.
- The mutiny showed the British that they could not longer trust the armed forces in India, and marked the end of their supremacy over the Indians.
In conjunction with the INA trials and the peasant movements of Telengana and Tebhaga, the peoples’ unity during the mutiny had loosened the last pillars of the Raj. Indian leaders may have fumbled, but the British knew that their days were over.