Daily Answer Writing- March 13, 2021

Q.278) In what ways did the navel mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India? (10mark) (150words)

The Royal Indian Navy mutiny of 18, February 1946 proved to be a major break though in the history of the Indian freedom struggle.

  • The mutiny started with the strike on ‘HMIS Talwar’ over issues such as poor quality food, racial abuse by the white superiors. The Indian sailors were determined to show their defiance against the exploitative and discriminatory policies of their white masters.
  • The reverberations of the revolt were felt throughout the country as it soon spread to naval ships stationed in Calcutta, Karachi and Madras along with other ports.
  • Finally it switched over major demands of releasing the Generals of INA and not employing the Indian soldiers in Indonesia.
  • The mutiny was led by M.S Khan and Madan Singh thus leaving no scope for the Britishers to play the communal card.
  • Also it was unique in the sense that it received mass support of the civilian population and the nationalist leadership. The mutiny had lasted for only 6 days but it left a deeper blow to the prestige of the British Empire.
  • The British Empire was still recovering from the devastation of the Second World War and it found difficult to bear the brunt of naval mutiny.
  • Subsequently government accepted most of the demands of rebels in principal which included improvement in the quality of food and living conditions of the ratings.
  • The mutiny was called off owing to the intervention of Sardar Patel.

The role of Indian leadership in controlling the mutiny proved Indian politics had finally shifted from the English to the Indian hands. This was a great symbolic victory. The naval mutiny was decisive in many respects. It established that India could no longer be put into subjugation by asserting military might.

Therefore the naval mutiny proved to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India, compelling the colonial rulers to ponder over leaving Indian land as soon as possible.

Q.279) What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India? (15mark) (250words)

A number of political, economic and social developments and events around the world motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India.

Political developments:

  • The earliest political events to inspire the anti-colonial struggle in India were the American war of Independence, The French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
  • The treatments given to Turkey by the victors of First World War motivated the Khilafat movement and subsequently the Non Cooperation movement.
  • Unification of Germany and Italy inspired Indian to unite as a nation.
  • The Second World War weakened the British economy and exposed the inherent weaknesses of the British Empire.
  • Second World War also formed a general consensus against the imperial aspirations around the world and led to beginning of de-colonization around the world.
  • Rise of America as super power changed the international power calculations.

Economic developments:

  • Great Economic Depression exposed the vulnerabilities of the colonial powers. This period saw rapid growth of industries in India.
  • Rise of Indian intellectuals like Dada Bhai Naroji at international platforms gave more voice to Indian cause.
  • Rise of American and Japanese economy facilitated India’s engagement with the world and reduced dependence on the British.

Social developments:

  • Ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity that emanated from the French revolution became the basis of freedom struggle worldwide.
  • The western education help in understanding the true nature of imperial government and built the nationalist sentiments among the masses.
  • Home Rule Movement of Ireland also inspired the anti-colonial freedom struggle in India. India saw the onset of communist elements to India in early 19th century and communist movement was an important source of revolutionary ideas.

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