Dina Jinnah Wadia (born August 15, 1919) the only child of the Father of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Maryam Jinnah (born as Rattanbai Petit, daughter of Lord Dinshaw) passed away in New York on November 2, 2017. She was 98 year-old.
Pakistan’s president Mamnoon Hussain and prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi led the Pakistani people in offering condolences to Dina Wadia’s son Nusli Wadia, Chairman Wadia Group, saying she was greatly respected.
On September 11, 1948, Dina Wadia visited Pakistan to attend her father’s funeral in Karachi where she stayed with her aunt Madar-i-Millat (Mother of the Nation) Fatima Jinnah. Later she visited Pakistan in 2004 as guest of Pakistan’s former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf to watch a cricket match between Pakistan and India.
Dina was born in London where her father was member of Royal Privy Council. Her mother known as Rose of Bombay, converted to Islam at age 18 in order to marry one of India’s top lawyers, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, 42. However, she failed to adopt Muslim way of life and after three-year marriage returned to her Parsi family in Bombay taking Dina with her. Jinnah never saw her until her death in 1929.
After Rattanbai Petit’s death, Muhammad Ali Jinnah asked his sister Fatima to raise Dina. According to Jinnah’s chauffer Bradbury, Jinnah himself requested his sister Fatima Jinnah, to teach her niece, Dina about Islam and Holy Qur’an.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah stopped visiting her daughter Dina after she married to one of India’s richest businessman Neville Ness Wadia, a non-Muslim Parsi. However Dina’s marriage like her mother didn’t last much longer. She got a divorce in 1943 after five year married life and left Mumbai first for London and then for New York.
After the establishment of Pakistan, Dina like Jinnah’s three sisters (Maryam Bai, Rehmat Bai and Shireen Bai) decided to stay in India while the youngest sister Fatma Jinnah immigrated to Pakistan with her brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
During her 2004 visit, she visited the hall where Jinnah’s personal belongings are on display. Dina showed a liking for three pictures and requested for blow-ups. One of the pictures shows Dina with her parents, another is that of her mother, while the third, which she liked the most, shows Jinnah dictating a letter to someone. Later she paid her respects at the tomb of Fatima Jinnah, her aunt.
See Quaid-e-Azam family photos here.