Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jinnah "s daughter vs Jinnah "s country

I wrote a blog " Women in Mohammed Ali Jinnah " s Life " in September 2012 for the Oakland Press , Michigan . This is part 2 of that article .......


Rattan bai  Petit or "Ruttie" as she was affectionately called was a bright and very talented young girl.She was 16 when she met Jinnah who was her father Sir Dinshaw Petit's friend.  Ruttie   was interested in poetry and fiction on one hand ,while on the other hand she was very much interested in politics. It is believed that the first meeting between the two took place in Darjeeling. Jinnah asked her father for her hand in marriage when she was 16 years old .Sir Dinshaw Petit was extremly angry at this proposal and forbade Ruttie to meet Jinnah. She converted to Islam shortly after her eighteenth birthday and married Jinnah. The wedding ceremony was attended by very few friends .The early years of their marraige could not have been happier.The two made a "head turning couple".........Ruttie was like a beautiful flower. Jinnah was tall and dashing who was always dressed in fine tailored suits. She was a revolutionary like her husband , she was with him when he led a demonstration against Lord Willingdon , the Governor of Bombay. In 1919 their daughter Dina was born. By the mid 1922 Jinnah was facing political problems he spent long hours at his office which made Ruttie  pack her bags and leave for London with her daughter. She did deeply cared for her husband but could not tolerate the late hours.
Jinnah was appointed to a subcommittee to establish a military academy in India for which he had to travel to Europe and North America, he took Ruttie with her. Even the trip overseas could help the couple to resolve their differences. Ruttie separated from him in 1927. She withdrew into a world of mysticism and depression .She kept in touch with only few close friends and few pets . She got sick and stayed in the Taj Hotel in Bombay .  She finally died in 1929 on the day of her 29th birthday , she was buried according to Muslim traditions. Jinnah sat quietly during her funeral , he was an extremly private man who never showed his emotions in public but that day he cried openly. Letters written by Ruttie to Jinnah have been made public but the letters written by Jinnah were never made public. Jinnah went to Ruttie's grave before leaving for Pakistan in 1947 , he cried openly there. Jinnah's assistant Mr Chagla said he  cried only on two occasion in his life and both times for Ruttie :once at her funeral and other at her grave when he was leaving for Pakistan .

Dina Jinnah was his only child .She was a pampered daughter who was raised as a Muslim by him .She was sent away at school came home during vacations .
Dina Jinnah wanted to marry a Parsi named Neville Wadia who succeeded  his father as the chairman of Bombay Dyeing one of India's largest textile companies. According to Jinnah's assistant Mr Chagla;  Jinnah in his usual imperious manner , told her that there were millions of Muslim boys in India  and she could have anyone she chose."Father there were millions of Muslim girls in India .Why did you not marry one of them?"..........he replaid "she became a Muslim".
Sadly Jinnah and Dina Jinnah's  father-daughter relationship became extremely formal after her marriage to Mr Wadia , somewhat like that of her mother Ruttie and her grandfather . Mr Jinnah started addressing her as Mrs Wadia. She lived in Bombay had two children,it is believed that Jinnah visited his grandson and granddaughter once in Bombay. She came to Karachi in 1948 to attend his funeral. Her son Ness Wadia became the the chairman of Bombay Dyeing after her husband's death . It is also ironic that all  families ; Jinnah's , Dinshaw Pettit's and Neville Wadia 's are associated with textile business. Mrs Wadia visited  Pakistan in 2004 with her son and grandsons to watch a cricket match between India and Pakistan in the spirit of "Cricket Diplomacy" . She was given an official protocol by the government of Pakistan when she visited Jinnah's tomb in Karachi. ''"It is a very sad and wonderful for me. May his dream of Pakistan come true", she wrote in the visitor "s book.

Mr Jinnah built a beautiful palatial mansion in the Malabar Hills Area , Bombay which cost him close to 2 lakhs indian rupees . Ironically this house staged a high level political meeting between Jinnah and Nehru exactly one year before the creation of Pakistan on 14 th August 1946.
He left the house when he moved to Karachi after the creation of Pakistan. His house was rented to the British High Commission till the 1990s after which it was a bone of contention between his daughter and the government of Pakistan .
Pakistan government stated by President Musharraf during his trip to Pakistan want to lease it or buy it to make it their Consulate .
On the other hand Mrs Dina Wadia his only child wants the Indian  government to give it to her as it is her right to inherit it .

I wonder why she wants her father "s house when she had not very friendly relationship with her father. It is believed Jinnah asked Ms Wadia to come to Pakistan with him in 1947, she refused . I think she must be longing for her father"s attention after her mother "s death and he was busy with his other child " Pakistan " that would have been her frustration .She may want to live in the house to relive her childhood memories with her dad .It is my opinion that the possession of Jinnah house be awarded to the government of Pakistan. Jinnah "s second child  Pakistan ( thanks to its leaders ) has not lived up to his dreams but Pakistanis did not forget him ........