By Dr. Adnan Zuberi
HMIS Hindustan at Manora Island Karachi 1946
Later Commissioned as PNS KARSAZ
The history goes back to 18 February 1946 when the sailors of lower ranks of Royal Indian Navy called a Strike against the poor working conditions and humiliation by British Officers. The strike turns to mutiny under the leadership of Signalman MS Khan as president and Petty Officer Madan Singh as Gen secretary. The mutiny spread to almost all major harbours of united India including Karachi, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
On 21 february called the 15th Regiment to crush the mutiny at HMIS Hindustan which was anchored at Manora island Karachi. Earlier the soldiers of Baluch regiment were refused to open fire on their indian sailors, which were Muslims and Hindus both.
21 February 1946 when sailors of HMIS Hindustan refused to surrender British forces opened fire. Several sailors were dead and wounded.
Surprisingly, neither Indian National Congress nor Muslinm League extend their political support forthis movement, which was the last combined move from hindus and muslims together. Nehru,Jinnah and Gandhi were against this mutiny. While public from Karachi, Bombay and Calcutta joined their countrymen. Aruna Asif Ali, an active member of INC ( socialist wing ) came forward to support them. Aruna, daughter of Bangali parents, educated in Lahore and married to Asif Ali a prominent Lawyer from UP. Aruna was 20 years younger to Asif, who fought the case of Bahgat Singh. She was famous as,” political Child of Gandhi and recent student of Karl Marx”. Asif Ali was the first Ambassador of India in USA and died in 1953 in his office as envoy in Switzerland. Aruna Asif Ali got the highest civillian award Bharat Ratna, died in 1996.