New Delhi, Nov 3: “May his dream for Pakistan come true,” wrote Dina Wadia when she visited the mausoleum of her father – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – in Karachi, Pakistan in 2004. Dina Wadia, who died at the age of 98 in New York, visited Pakistan, a country founded by her father, only twice.
Dina Wadia, who was born in London, spent most of her life in Mumbai and had been living in the US since past few years. Her son Nusli is the chairman of the Wadia Group – one of India’s oldest and largest conglomerates.
When Dina Defied Her Father
Dina, who was born on August 15, 1919, married Neville Wadia in Mumbai in 1938 against her father’s wish. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was furious when Dina told him about her decision to marry a Parsi. Mahommedali Currim Chagla, who was considered a close aide of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, wrote in his autobiography – Roses in December – Jinnah asked Dina “there are millions of Muslim boys in India, is he the only one you were waiting for?” and Dina replied, “There were millions of Muslim girls in India, why did you marry my mother then?”
Dina’s mother, Rattanbai Petit or Ruttie, was a Parsi herself. Ruttie married 42-year-old Jinnah when she was just 18.
However, Dina’s marriage with Neville didn’t last and she shifted to London. Later, she moved to New York where she passed away.
The father-daughter relationship had turned so sour that Jinnah even denied Dina visa to Pakistan when she wanted to visit him after hearing the news of his critical illness.
Dina could only visit Pakistan to attend to attend Jinnah’s funeral in September, 1948. She visited the country for the second and last time in 2004.
The Mother-Son Relationship
Dina shared a close relationship with her son Nusli. In an interview in 2008, Nusli had said, “I speak to my mother once a day every day no matter where I am…I don’t think there is any mother-son relationship in the world as close as ours.”
Besides Nusli, Dina is survived by her daughter Diana, grandsons Ness and Jeh, and great-grandchildren Jah and Ella.
Dina Wadia’s funeral will be held in New York.