Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Choice of Country by a Daughter of The Nation By Iftikhar Chaudri

Being a journalist it was always a challenging question for me that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s only child, his daughter Dina Jinnah took right decision to leave Pakistan and got married with a Parsi business tycoon Neville Wadia, or otherwise? Dina's relationship with her father Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah became strained when Dina Jinnah expressed her desire to marry a Parsi-born Indian Neville Wadia. Quaid , a Muslim, tried to dissuade her, but failed. Mahommedali Currim Chagla, who was Jinnah's assistant at the time, 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. Reminding her father that his wife (Dina's mother Rattanbai), had also been a non-Muslim, a Parsi also coincidently, the young lady replied: 'Father, there were millions of Muslim girls in India. Why did you not marry one of them?' And he replied that, 'she became a Muslim'".

It is said (by Jinnah's associate M C Chagla in " Roses in December") that when Dina married Neville, Jinnah said to her that she was not his daughter any more.It has not been corroborated by any other source. Jinnah allegedly disowned her and the father-daughter relationship became extremely formal after she married.But the legal notice of disowning never came which is essential for legal purposes. They did correspond, but he addressed her formally as 'Mrs. Wadia'. Dina and Neville lived in Mumbai and had two children, a boy and a girl. Dina's son Nusli Wadia became a Christian, but converted back to Zoroastrianism and settled in the industrially wealthy Parsi community of Mumbai. Dina did not travel to Pakistan until her father's funeral in Karachi in September 1948. Their relationship is a matter of legal conjecture and hair splitting as Pakistani laws allow for a person to be disinherited for leaving Islam (hence no claim on Pakistani properties of Jinnah) and Indian laws recognizing religion's traditional succession rules to operate.

Dina Jinnah born in London on 15 August 1919 , she is 92 plus years old lady . After leaving Muhammad Ali Jinnah She got married a struggling businessman, Neville Ness Wadia (22 August 1911 – 31 July 1996)who was an English businessman, philanthropist and a member of the Wadia family, an old Parsi family which, by the 1840s, was one of the leading forces in the Indian shipbuilding industry, having built over a hundred warships for the British and having established trading networks around the world. Born in Liverpool, Neville Wadia was educated at Malvern College and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Although he was born a Parsi, his father renounced the Zoroastrian faith and converted to Christianity. Wadia converted from Christianity to Zoroastrianism later in life.
During the late 19th century, his father, Sir Ness Wadia, played an important role in turning the city of Bombay into one of the world's largest cotton trading centres. In 1952, Neville Wadia succeeded his father as chairman of Bombay Dyeing and under his leadership the company became one of India's most successful and quality-conscious textile concerns. He was also heavily involved in the real estate business in Mumbai and he contributed to building new wings and upgrading several hospitals in Bombay founded by his family, he established a business school in Pune and a host of charitable trusts for Parsees.

After his retirement as chairman of Bombay Dyeing in 1977, he was succeeded by his son, Nusli Wadia. Neville Wadia died in Mumbai three weeks before his 85th birthday.

Nusli Wadia is the son of Dina Wadia , chairman and majority owner of Bombay Dyeing, chairman of the Rs. 6,157 crore Wadia group, is one of the savviest businessmen of India. He is creating a new identity for his group with forays into real estate and retail. One of the richest businessman of India a well-established entrepreneur, a textile magnate and an important person in the real-estate business. The Economic Times once described Nusli Wadia as "the epitome of South Bombay's old money and genteel respectability". He was described as being the only man who could walk in and out of the residences of Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, when the BJPwas in power, and talk frankly to both of them .

He is a self-styled gladiator who has been in the corporate arena for nearly three decades. His arsenal is impressive — a conglomerate with origins stretching back to the mid-1700s, an easily provoked temper and, perhaps most importantly, an ironclad stomach for combat. Nusli Wadia, chairman of the Wadia group, has proved that for him, life is lived only when in the eye of a storm. For his legions of detractors and admirers, Nusli Wadia is one of the savviest businessmen in the corporate arena, where his financial acumen and legal expertise is much respected. Wadia is the quintessential workaholic whose sartorial selections and impressive personality belie his relatively simple lifestyle

Nusli Wadia is married to Maureen Wadia, a former air hostess, who heads Gladrags magazine and is one of the forces behind the Mrs India beauty pageant. They have two sons: Ness and Jehangir. Ness Wadia is managing director of Bombay Dyeing and co-owner of Kings XI Punjab team in the IPL, and Jehangir Wadia heads Go Air.

In March 2004, Dina came to Lahore, Pakistan to watch a cricket match between Pakistan and India. She considered "cricket diplomacy" to be an enthralling dimension that illustrated an entirely new phase in relations between India and Pakistan. But she and her son Nusli Wadia chose not to share their thoughts with the public on what was certainly a highly emotional encounter. Dina had not travelled to Pakistan since her father's funeral in September 1948. A great sense of drama was embedded in an old woman's visit, as a foreigner, to a country that was founded by her father.

Dina Wadia along with her son, Nusli Wadia and grandsons Ness Wadia and Jehangir Wadia visited the mausoleum of her father to pay homage. She also visited the museum located within the premises of the mausoleum and saw the articles used by her illustrious father. In the visitors' book, Dina wrote: "This has been very sad and wonderful for me. May his dream for Pakistan come true." This would appear to be a very appropriate summation of a life-experience that is essentially inexplicable. Reports said that she asked for copies of three pictures she saw in the mausoleum's antiquities room. In one picture, she is standing with her father and aunt, Fatima Jinnah.

Now , lets talk about the family of Quaid-e –Azam , who chose to stay in Pakistan , as this Pakistan is created under their father’s leadership. It was about the brutal murder of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnahs young great grandson at the hands of Pakistan Police back in 1998, when our beloved Mr. Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister of this great land. Sikandar Jinnah was picked up by the police when he went out to buy Parathas for Sehri on the 10th of Ramazan. He was tortured to a slow and painful death, which left his stomach in threads, his eyes bloody and the bones in his body crushed. And they were prompt about the murder too! The body was handed over the very next day to his parents, who live in the slum area of Golimar in Karachi.

What is incredibly sad about this is that most of us don’t even know about this. I didn’t know that Quaid-e-Azams only grandson – the last link in this family chain that we owe everything to – was murdered so brutally. There isn’t even a Wikipedia entry forSikandar Jinnah (Shaheed), except for a brief mention in the Quaid-e-Azam entry. The FIR for the murder was filed two years later, in year 2000, even that only with the help of a retired Brigadier. This is what Sikandar’s mother, Khursheed Begum had to say:

It was January 9, 1998 and 10th of Ramazan, when my only son, Sikandar Ali Jinnah, 17, went out to a nearby hotel to buy Paratha for ‘Sehri’ but did not return home. We searched for him everywhere that day but could not trace him. The very next day the police called us to Jamshed Quarter Police Station to hand over the body of Sikandar, who had been brutally tortured to death. His body bore marks of torture.” “We ran from pillar to post to seek justice but no one helped us, except Brig (retired) Shamsul Haq Qazi, a resident of Rawalpindi, who came to know about the brutal death of Sikandar through media reports and approached us.
Now, we just wish that not a single citizen of the country experiences such brutalities at the hands of the police and there should be someone in the country, especially the reinstated chief justice, who should rein in the police and ensure that no one suffers at their hands.
The five policemen charged with the murder were sentenced to just five years of imprisonment! And soon enough, they were set free on bail and are now roaming free. They probably have been given promotions by now.
On the other hand, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's family barely survives in Quaid’s city, Karachi. The great grand son of Father of the Nation, Quaid-I-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mohammad Aslam Jinnah. Aslam is struggling with life in a city where his great grand father was born and buried. He makes no complaint as he commutes back and forth in public transport. This city has more than 1.5 million vehicles; there is none for the poor relatives of Quaid-I-Azam, who bestowed this nation with every luxury one can imagine. Aslam ‘s wife is suffering from cancer, she had surgery and she needs medicines worth many thousand every month.
He is self- respecting man; he can never ask for any favour. Hence quietly he lives on the edge with his family in a two room rented flat in North Nazimabad. The only man who helped this family without asking was Mohammad Mian Soomro, the Senate Chairman. He arranged for the operation of Aslam’s wife. Mohammad Aslam is poor and broken relative of Jinnah Family. Some rich fellows refuse to acknowledge their existence and challenge their claim of Jinnah’s kin. This is wholly unfair and unjustified.
Mohammad Aslam never wants any share in the property left over by Quaid-I-Azam, he just wants to show to the world he is after material things, and he is content with life. His resources are terribly meager; his family hardly survives on what he earns. He supplies homemade paper bags to scores of shopkeepers in the old city area, where his great grand father was born. His wife is sick while daughter is mentally deranged; his sister Khurshid Begum lives in Golimar neighbourhood. She lost her only son, Sikandar Jinnah, after he was tortured to death in Soldier Bazaar police station. That death perhaps shook the whole city. After almost 14 years passed, Khurshid Begum is still struggling to secure real justice and bring those policemen to the books ie the capital punishment, who allegedly murdered her son.
This is tragic and pathetic, every now and then, Jinnah’s family commutes to city court where they ponder on this case for hours, then another hearing is usually fixed. This happens almost in every hearing no judgement is expected in the near future. The family pays expenses for travel and stay at the court. They wait and wait and wait for the justice, which they hope to get in their lifetime.
The only favour, authorities have done to Aslam Jinnah is the provision of a car, which takes his family back and forth to Quaid’s mausoleum on the national days including 23rd March, 14rh August, 25th December and 11th September. This is usually an uphill task for Aslam. He goes to protocol department of Sindh Government, books car for the day and comes back while on his way back he buys flowers to lay on Quaid’s mausoleum. He was seen, going back to his house after buying flowers. On national days, Aslam usually wears black sherwani; this has become old and wrinkled like his face. He never minds atrocities of life. ‘I accept this as my fate. I have no regret. One thing is sure I will never ask for any favour from anybody.’ Aslam and his family members adorn front and back pages of national newspapers and news items on various TV channels. This is the only luxury this family enjoys, so far.
What can be done for Aslam and his sister Khurshid, who barely survive in this largely brutal and cruel Pakistan, where those who were deadly against the country minted money and got away with it. Even now the opponents of Pakistan Ideology thrives well while the Founder’s family suffers silently in agony and pain. The plight of Aslam Jinnah and his sister Khurshid Begum deserve real attention by all. They should not be left to suffer, mainly because they are poor and helpless. If they will get any justice is anybody’s guess.
It was a "matter of shame" for everyone that some family members of "the Quaid-e-Azam", or great leader, were living in miserable conditions, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sher Afgan Niazi told the lower house of parliament. (August 15, 2007)
"We are indebted to Quaid-e-Azam and his family. It is because of him that we are sitting in the house today. The government has taken notice of their plight and will take every step to help them."
The family is living in a single-room house in a congested street of Baloch Para, one of the most neglected localities of Karachi. The single room (10x10) is being used as kitchen, drawing room as well as bedroom by its inhabitants. A 4x3 washroom is attached with the room that is also being used as toilet. When I entered the house it was being used as kitchen and some meal was being cooked at the stove placed at the corner of the room. Owing to the kitchen being inside the room, the temperature inside was very high and the environment was suffocating.
But the couple has been forced to live in such a deplorable condition for the last 26 years in the singe-room house due to abject poverty. The couple living under such circumstances is none other than the grand daughter of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of the Pakistan, Khursheed Begum, and her spouse Mohammad Ali.
It is a matter of extreme shame for the whole nation especially for the government that the family of the father of the nation is leading a pathetic life. It is ironic that on one hand millions of rupees were being spent on the lavish expenses of an army of ministers, state ministers, federal secretaries and on president and prime minister’s houses, but on the other majority of the population of the country, including the family of the father of the nation, was forced to live under miserable conditions and below poverty line.
However, despite the directives of the president and federal government’s assurances on the floor of the house, none of the provincial government officials approached the family.
However, Khursheed Begum said, during a Eid, the Sindh governor visited them and also handed over a cheque of Rs500,000.Despite being in such abject poverty, the couple does not demand any financial assistance from the government. It is the responsibility of the government to provide its citizens the basic necessities. During an interview, the grand daughter of the Quaid said her strongest desire was that every Pakistani could get quick and cheap justice and no one suffered at the hands of the police as she and her family experienced. Narrating the ordeal through which the family had gone through for about nine years, she said her only son was brutally tortured to death in police custody at Jamshed Quarter Police Station in 1998.
It was January 9, 1998 and 10th of Ramazan, when my only son, Sikandar Ali Jinnah, 17, went out to a nearby hotel to buy Paratha for ‘Sehri’ but did not return home. We searched for him everywhere that day but could not trace him. The very next day the police called us to Jamshed Quarter Police Station to hand over the body of Sikandar, who had been brutally tortured to death. His body bore marks of torture.” “We ran from pillar to post to seek justice but no one helped us, except Brig (retired) Shamsul Haq Qazi, a resident of Rawalpindi, who came to know about the brutal death of Sikandar through media reports and approached us,” she remembered. She said Qazi proved to be an ‘angel’ for us and he approached everyone at the helm of affairs from top to bottom and even contacted the then prime minister. His ‘hectic’ efforts to get justice for us bore fruits when in 2000 an FIR of the custodial killing of Sikandar Ali Jinnah (great grandson of the Quaid-i-Azam) was registered against five police officials.
“After that Qazi Sahib helped us constantly and remained in touch with us. He is an ‘angel’ not a man and I deem him as my guardian,” Khursheed Begum said while praying for Qazi. “The cops responsible for the death of my only son were put on trial and consequently handed down five years imprisonment,” she said with tears running down her cheeks. However, she said, the convicts managed to come out on bail within no time after they were sentenced. We moved the high court against the release of the convicts on bail and the case is still being heard by the high court,” she said. She also praised Advocate Qadir Khan, who, she said, pleaded her case in the trial court and now in the high court free of cost.
During the nine-year long ordeal (from 1998 to 2007) not a single government official or minister bothered to inquire about us or help us in getting justice, she complained. “Now, we just wish that not a single citizen of the country experiences such brutalities at the hands of the police and there should be someone in the country, especially the reinstated chief justice, who should rein in the police and ensure that no one suffers at their hands,” she pleaded.
The five policemen charged with the murder were sentenced to just five years of imprisonment! And soon enough, they were set free on bail and are now roaming free. They probably have been given promotions by now.

Coming back to the main point of discussion, Dina Wadia , who was allegedly expelled by Quaid-e-Azam from his life, though the only daughter, is a happy mother, grand mother and grand grand mother , the richest children of India, the country which she chose was , is an arch rival to Pakistan. Her son and grandsons were given all the opportunities to grow and transforms them as multi-billionaire. While the Pakistan killed the only male issue, Sikanker Ali Jinnah , like a dog , by gangster police mafia in Karachi . I think Nusli Wadia can feed this family of Jinnah with golden spoons , but the blood of Quaid runs in their veins, they prefer death over ‘ironic’ alms .
I still think if Dina Wadia , chose Pakistan to live and got married to a Pakistani ? what would be the fate of her and that of her husband?? Did she not witness the mysterious death of her aunt Fatima Jinnah by a dictator General Ayub Khan?? I have strong believe that either Nusli Wadia has been killed by political opponents since long or he or his kids were roaming in the streets of Karachi , like that of Jinnah Family? Or they could meet the fate of Sikander Ali Jinnah. I wept whole night to write this article and still think is it the Pakistan, which created by the Quaid ? Or Quaid’s mausoleum is meant for guard of honors by the disgraced leaders and dictators, misusing the thoughts of Quaid for the vested interests?? Endangered the national integrity and solidarity by institutionalizing the rampant corruption, forcing the common people to commit suicide .?

In my opinion the choice of Dinna Jinnah was absolutely correct as she is one of the happiest lady of India.


  1. quaid e azam had only one daughter then how come khursheed begum is his grand daughter...plz let me know the relation!

    1. She was not the blood great grand-daughter of Quaid-e-Azam. She was the blood great grand daughter of one of Quaid's Brother (Some says his cousin or relative). So u can say Quaid's great grand daughter in some sense. Most of Quaid relatives in Pakistan are living in poverty. As Quaid disowned his disregarded daughter, he devote all his money to Government of Pakistan and a little to his close relatives.

  2. excellent article, this is really our national hero's Daughter richest lady in india, well the fate is not with the one's who lived in pakistan

    1. Yes our National hero but not his daughter was great. And who said u she was/is richest lady in India. it is someone else,u can find her name.

    2. Sorry to say but surely Dina wadia is one of the most respected lady in India. She has every reason to be proud except for her father's part.

  3. Do Pakistani Readers know that QEA Jinnah's property in Mumbai is worth atleast 1000 crores today.

    1. I wouldnt mind a share of that haha :D

  4. Qaid-e-Azam had only one daughter then how did you add in your article about the great grand son Sikander Jinnah ?

  5. To the writer of this article
    You need to tell me the address of khursheed begum I read this article on the night of 13 th August I havent eaten right and I cant sleep right either nor can I stop crying I cant believe that such injustice has been done with the family of a man who stood for justice and humanity whose country we are living in right now I freaking cant believe it I need to know the address I do whatever I can to help her or if not that then I'll go to her feet and beg her for.her forgiveness I cant tolerate the fact that my quaids blood is being treated in such a manner in a country that was founded by him my whole life I have been taught by my family of what a great man the Quaideazam was I have his picture in my drawing room I couldnt look at his picture without crying my head was down in shane you might think of me as someone crazy or just really patriotic but I no not just me my whole family has had so much respect for QuaideAzam I just cant freaking tolerate this I need her address I need to beg her for forgiveness

  6. I want to know why Fatima Jannah didn't got married? Any one can give me ans....
    It my assignment I searched but couldn't find the details.

  7. Iffti Jee! You couldnt write more touching and convincing article than this piece. Heart touching and well researched. I may quote some details in my some write up. Thank you. Sohail Parwaz

  8. Very sad. What we have done for quide. Our corrupt leaders robbed our country but they are so much ignorant about quide's family. Gov of pakistan is giving a high wages to their employees and giving huge pension to retired servants but why they did not supporting quides family they must give them proper house a monthly worthy pension and they should claim the quides house in india and give shares of it to them for sake of hummanity i mean they are relatives of our hero. Media should also play important role they should call them annd introduce them to public. I appeal to writter that please write an article about jinnah's family his brothers and sister. I remember he have 3 or 5 sisters fatima jinnah is one of them and two or three brothers.

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  9. Quaid-E-Azam had only one daughter Dina Wadia, who lives in New York city and her sons & grand childrens also live in New York or India.Quaid-e-Azam do not had any other child, so how can Sikander Ali Jinnah be the grandson of Quaid-e-Azam. He could be the grandson of Quaid's one of brother or sister.Quaid had 3 brothers including him & 3 sisters.

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  11. It very heart broken story about family of Quaid-E-Azam .

  12. Jinah had only one daughter, how this Aslam Jinah and Sikandar Jinnah and Khusheed begam came from, I asked writer it would be better to have some light on family lineage of Jinnah family to understand your article easily and convenient