Jinnah’s Daughter

Jinnah’s daughter Dina Wadia, and grandson Nusli were toast of the town when they visited Pakistan to watch the one-day international cricket match in Lahore. Waited on by Pakistan Cricket Board chief and former diplomat Shahryar Khan and feted by sundry generals they made headlines in the Pakistani press. Unable to resist the PR effect, Musharraf himself sat with them during the cricket match.

Yet, Dina’s relations with her father are a reflection of the failure of the two-nation theory.

Update: Ghazi Salahuddin on Dina’s visit

After the death of his wife Ratanbai “Rutti” Petit (originally a Parsi who converted to Islam a day before marriage to Jinnah after a long courtship), Fatimah Jinnah, his sister became too possessive of Jinnah, ever shadowing him. Hye says Fatimah was mainly instrumental in causing distance between Jinnah and his daughter Dina (original name Deen Bai but fondly called so). Jinnah wanted to marry her with barrister Akbar Ali, a member of Bombay’s elite. But this could not materialise due to Fatimah. Hye says Dina went back to the fold of Parsi religion as Fatimah would not allow him her father’s company. [Islamic Voice]

But they later grew apart, Dina never joined her father in Pakistan. She came to Karachi only for his funeral.

The relationship was marred by the fact that Dina wanted to marry a Parsi-born Christian, Neville Wadia. Jinnah tried to dissuade her, just like Sir Dinshaw had tried to influence his daughter many years ago, but to no avail. Justice Chagla recalls, ” Jinnah, in his usual imperious manner, told her that there were millions of Muslim boys in India, and she could have anyone she chose. Then the young lady…replied: ‘Father, there were millions of Muslim girls in India. Why did you not marry one of them?’

The relationship became formal after she married. They did correspond, he addressed her formally as ‘Mrs. Wadia’.

Dina and Neville lived in Bombay and had two children, a boy and a girl. Shortly after that they separated.

Though isolated in many ways, Jinnah was always cared for by his sister Fatima who kept house for him and nursed him till his death [Pakistan Government]

Part of the identity is the religious melange. Jinnah was a Shi’ite Muslim who married a Parsi – Zoroastrian Persians who fled Islam to settle in India. Yet he refused to speak again to his daughter Dina when she married a Parsi, albeit one of part-Irish descent and hence a Christian convert.

To convolute matters further, Nusli Wadia, born a Christian, decided to convert back to Zoroastrianism, settling back into the industrially wealthy Parsi community of Bombay [The Friday Times via HVK]

1 thought on “Jinnah’s Daughter”

  1. the two nation theory falls flat when Mr.Jinnah couldnt get his own daughter to stay in his pakistan

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