By Fatima Jinnah
He slept for about two hours, undisturbed.
And then he opened his eyes, saw me, and signaled with his
head and eyes for me to come .near him. He made one
last attempt and whispered, "Fati, Khuda Hafiz. ...... La
Ilaha Il Allah ...... Mohammad ...... Rasul ...... Allah." His head dropped slightly to
his right, his eyes closed.
I ran out of the room, shouting,
screaming, "Doctor, doctor. Be quick. My brother is dying.
Where are the Doctors?" In a few minutes they were there,
examining him and giving him injections. I stood
there, motionless, speechless. Then I saw them cover his whole
body, head to foot, with a white sheet. I knew what it meant.
Death had come to take him away from this life that must end
to a life which is Eternal; Immortal.
Col. Ilahi Bux walked on heavy feet
towards me, put his right palm over my left shoulder, and
wept like a little child. Those tears, in a language without
words or voice, conveyed to me the fatal news. I searched
for tears, but the well where one
finds them had dried up. I wanted to scream and cry, but my
voice had sunk into the abyss of speechlessness. I dragged
myself to his bed side, and flung myself like a log of wood
on the floor.
The news of his death must have
spread far and wide. The huge iron-gates of the Governor-General's
House, where normally strict security measures prevent
entry, opened themselves wide, and endless streams of peoples came from all directions.
Soon many of them were in the room,
where he lay, undisturbed, in a sleep that was beyond awakening.
I sat there, oblivious of my surroundings. I lost count of
time, I had completely lost myself in my irreparable loss.
I do not know how long I sat there,
staring at the white sheet that covered my brother's body.
But I remember that an elderly lady,
whom I had
A NATION IS ORPHANED
never seen or known put her arms
round my neck, and quietly whispered into my ear a verse from
the Holy Quran: From God he came, To God he returned.
1. Miss Jinnah moved into Jinnah's
bungalow on Malabar Hills after the death of Ruttenbai on 20
February 1929, since when she was his constant companion.
|One crore equals
10 million. 3. Jinnah was 5'11'/s".
|He spoke on 19
(ed.), Speeches and Writings
of Mr. Jinnah (Lahore:
Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 7th edn., 1968),
I: 199; hereafter referred to by its title.
6. Ibid., p. 207. 7. Ibid., p. 208.
8.Ibid., p. 210. 9. Ibid.,
11.The Muslim League session was
held during Easter holidays, 12-15 April 1941.
12.On 12 April 1941, the first day
of the session, after the welcome address by Abdul Hameed
Khan, Chairman, Reception Committee, Jinnah responded briefly,
first in Urdu and then in English. Because he was still unwell,
his presidential address was postponed to 14 April. On that
day, he spoke for one hour
fifty-four minutes at a stretch, indeed a feat for a person
who had suffered a nervous
breakdown barely three days before. In the procession and
at the flag-hoisting ceremony on 11 April, he was deputized
by Amir Muhammad Khan, Raja of Mahmudabad, who was Treasurer
of the AIML at the time. The editor was present throughout
the session. See also the account by Hasan Reyaz, Editor,
Manshoor (Delhi), the official mouthpiece
of the All-India Muslim League, in
|Speeches and Writings
of Mr. Jinnah, 1: 262-63.
Ali Jinnah: Speeches as Governor-General of
Directorate of Research, Reference and Publications, n.d.),
p. 5 ; hereafter referred to as Speeches
Another version of the above abstract
(given by Mrs. Rafia Shareef in her article on Miss Jinnah
in Freedom, Karachi,
4 March 1949) is as follows: "During all these
years of worry and hard work my sister was like a bright ray
of light and hope, whenever I came back home and met her.
Anxieties would have been much
greater and my health much worse but for the restraint imposed
by her. She never grudged - she never grumbled. Let me reveal
to you something that you probably do not know. There was
a time when we were face to face with a great
revolution. We were ready and prepared to face bullets and
even death. She never said a word but on the contrary she
encouraged me. For solid ten years
she stood by me and sustained me." 15. It should be read as
Wagah border since Wagah, and not Khokrapar, is near Lahore.
|Speeches as G.G.,
|Ibid., p. 114.
|Ibid., p. 137.
|Ibid., p. 153.
27. Ilahi Bakhsh's version of his
interview with Jinnah is as follows: `There is nothing much
wrong with me," he told me, "except that I have got stomach
trouble and exhaustion due to overwork and worry. For forty
years I have worked for 14 hours a day, never knowing what
disease was. However, for the last few years
I have been having annual attacks of fever and cough. My doctors
Bombay regarded these as attacks
of bronchitis, and with the usual treatment and rest in bed,
I generally recovered within a week or so. For the last year
or two, however, they have increased both in frequency and
severity and are much more exhausting."
"About three weeks ago I caught
a chill and developed fever and a cough for which the Civil
Surgeon of Quetta prescribed penicillin lozenges. I have been taking these since; my cold
is better, the fever is less, but I feel very week. I don't
think there is anything organically wrong with me. The phelgin
which I bring up is probably coming from my stomach and if
my stomach can be put right I will recover
soon. Many years ago I had a rather bad stomach trouble for
A NATION IS ORPHANED
consulted two or three London specialists,
but they failed to diagnose my illness, and one of them even
advised operation " Ilahi Bakhsh, With the Quaid-i-
Azam During His Last Days (Karachi:
Quaid-i-Azam Academy, 1978), pp. 4-5. 28: 11ahi Bakhsh's version is as follows:
".. . . Now tell me all about it. How long
have I had this disease? What are the chances of my overcoming
it? How long will the treatment last? I should like to know
everything and you must not hesitate to tell me the whole
truth." I replied that I could not give a definite opinion until I had
gauged the extent
of the disease process by means of an X-ray examination but
felt confident that with the aid of the latest drugs there
should be a fair chance of
a considerable improvement. What I had told him did not appear
to have disturbed his composure unduly and I was greatly impressed
by the manner in which he had taken the grave news." ibid.,
29. Ilahi- Bakhsh's version is as follows:
" For breakfast, I allowed him porridge, half-boiled or scrambled
or poached eggs, thin slices of white bread with
butter followed by coffee with plenty of milk; fruit juice
at 11 O'clock; minced chicken
or steamed or boiled fish with white sauce, mashed potatoes
and green peas followed by baked custard or fruit jelly with
cream for lunch; biscuits and tea in the afternoon; and for
dinner, minced chicken or grilled fish with some appetizing
sauce, mashed potatoes, green peas or boiled marrow, followed
by a light pudding and coffee
" Ibid., p. 6.
30. Ilahi Bashkh's version is as
I was telling him the grave news I watched him intently, all
the time uncertain whether I had not made a mistake. He, however,
remained quite calm and all he said after I had finished was,
"Have you told Miss Jinnah?" I replied, "Yes, Sir. Since I
thought it proper to conceal
the nature of the illness from you, fearing it might have
an adverse effect on you, I had to take her into confidence."
The Quaid-e-Azam interrupted me and said,
"No, you shouldn't have done it. After all she is a woman."
I expressed regret for the
pain caused to his sister, but explained that there had been
no other course. . .. "ibid., p.8.
version is as follows: ". .. . Downstairs in the drawing
met the Prime Minister, who had
come to Ziarat that day with Mr. Muhammad Ali to
see the Quaid-eAzam. He anxiously enquired about the Quaid-e-Azam,
complimented me on leaving won the first round by securing
the patient's confidence, and
expressed the hope that it would contribute to his recovery.
He also urged me to probe into the
root cause of the persistent disease.
I assured him that despite the Quaide-Azam's serious condition
there was reason to hope that if he responded to the latest
medicines which had been sent for from Karachi he might yet
overcome the trouble, and that the most hopeful feature was
the patient's strong power of resistance.
I was moved by the Prime Minister's deep concern for the health
of his Chief and old comrade." Ibid,
|Speeches as G.G.,
|See also Ilahi
Bakhsh, op, cit., pp. 14-15.
version is as follows: "Yes I am glad you have brought
here. I was caught in at Ziarat". Ibid., p. 19. 36. See
also ibid., p. 25.
|See also ibid.,
on 7 August
that year. The error may be due to the fact that
Quaid-e-Azam Speaks (Karachi:
Pak. Publicity, 1950?) had
erroneously placed the 'Eid message on 27 August 1948, and following this work, later
publications have repeated this error. Miss Jinnah and Mr.
Allana must have obviously
consulted one of these works.
39. Speeches As G.G., p. 166. 40.
Ibid., p. 165.
-l I . Ibid., p. 166.
of the error pointed out in note 38 above, Jinnah's Independence
Day message on 14 August 1948 represented
his last recorded words.
From Kathiawar to Karachi
W ITH the dawn of the second half
of the nineteenth century, the sun of British Raj in India
was inexorably climbing towards its meridian. The foreigners
who had started their life on this subcontinent as merchants,
seeking concessions, begging for friendly and favorable treatment,
had ended by becoming rulers of this country, setting up an
empire that became the most dazzling jewel in the Imperial
Crown. On the surface was the calm that precedes a storm.
The alien rulers believed their civilizing mission had sobered
the fiery temper of the disgruntled and that pax Britannica had cooled down the
cinders of `native' revolt and defiance. The subterranean
rumblings of hatred against foreign rule escaped their notice,
until in the year 1857 a calculated spark ignited a mighty
flame of rebellion that spread far and wide, and its enactment
came to be recorded as the first chapter in the book of India's
long and tortuous struggle for freedom from foreign domination.
It was a stormy period of our history; many of our patriots
lost their lives on the battlefields, and they came to be
looked upon as martyrs in the cause of our country's freedom.
It left a lasting impact on the minds of our people
practically all over India.
There were, however, some parts
that continued their placid life, unconcerned about the political
Gondal,conflagration a princely that State raged in all
Wahiawa around in them. the Bombay Presidency, was one
such spot, the Thakur Saheb of Gondal, in return for his unstinted
loyalty to the British Crown, continued to rule in all his
splendor over his subjects. It paid him to keep the shadow
of revolt against the British out of his State, lest it should
darken the glamour and glitter of his own undisputed sway
over his people. Under the protecting umbrella of the Thakur
Saheb, the people of Gondal State went about their daily round
of life, undisturbed by the political upsurge that had engulfed
Agriculture was the mainstay of
Gondal's economy; the main crop being cotton, wheat, jowar
and bajri. Among the agricultural produce of Gondal, the one
that gave Gondal a special reputation was chillies, and even
to this day Gondal chillies are famous. This may explain the
reason why in our house, in the earliest days that I can remember,
our dishes always contained plentiful sprinkling of chillies,
and those of us that found the food not strong enough to our
taste, could add an additional dosage from a plate that was
always on the table containing a handful supply of chillies.
Gondal, being the capital, was the
biggest town in the state; but by far and large the people
of this principality lived in countless villages, leading
a simple but contented life. Theirs was a narrow world, whose
horizons remained confined within the geographical boundaries
of their State. Paneli was one such village, which had a population
of less than one thousand, around the time the 1857 rebellion
was sowing the seeds of organized political opposition to
the British rule in India. In this little village lived my
FROM KATHIAWAR TO KARACHI
and there had lived and died his
forefathers. My grandfather was one of the few citizens of
Paneli, who was not an agriculturist. He owned a few handlooms,
on which he worked long and tiring hours and with the help
of a few hired hands he produced coarse hand-woven cotton
cloth, by the sale of which he made enough money to entitle
his family to be ranked among the well-to-do families of that
He had three sons, Va1ji, Nathoo
and Jinnah, the last named being his youngest son and a daughter,
Manbai. Jinnah was more _dynamic and more ambitious than his
two elder brothers, and he was born around 1857, the historic
year of _ the first Indian rebellion. To his youthful and
ambitious mind, Paneli appeared not only a sluggish and sleepy
village, but also a place where life revolved round the gossip
of the village bazar and the village well. He had heard that
Gondal was a big city, where life was brisk and business was
big. What could he do in Paneli? The prospect of working with
his two brothers on the family handlooms did not attract him.
That was too small a venture. His eyes were set on the big
city, where the spirit of adventure beckoned him.
His father gave him little cash
but much advice that before he invested his money in any business
he should make a thorough study as to which would be the best
business to enter. Having an analytical and cautious mind
and a meagre purse, my father was not a man to rush into a
venture in a hurry. It did not take him long to find a few
profitable lines in which he could do quick buying and selling.
His flair for business and hard work soon helped him to make
sufficient profits, enabling him to add substantially to the
original capital. When he returned from Gondal to Paneli after
some months, his father was happy to find that his son had
made good in a big city. Believing as they did in the old
traditional values of life, they were afraid that temp-
tations in Gondal might allure their
youthful son and distract his mind from a lucrative business
that he had succeeded in establishing in such a short time.
Moreover they were getting on in years; their other two sons
and daughter had been married, the only parental responsibility
that remained was to get their youngest son married to a good
girl, from a decent family of their own Ismaili Khoja community.
They began to search for a suitable
match for him, being eager to get him married before he left
Paneli to settle down permanently to a new life in Gondal.
Their search took them outside Paneli, and in Dhaffa, a village
about 10 miles from Paneli, they _decided Mithibai, a girl
from a respectable family, would be a suitable spouse for
their youngest son. The parents of the girl were approached
through a matchmaker, and they agreed to give their blessings
to the proposed match. And thus my father, Jinnah, and my
mother, Mithibai, came to be married in Dhaffa around 1874.
The business of my father prospered,
and he seemed to have an assured future. Urge for hard work
and ambition to do bigger and bigger business, however, flowed
in his veins. He believed in putting his shoulder to the wheel,
in order to go forward on whatever path he chose to tread.
Indolence and complacency he considered as hindrances; consecration
to duty and long and laborious in order to were to succeed
the price in one life. must
He considered willingly pay Gondal too small a place for his
soaring dreams and ambitions.
He heard of that big city, Bombay,
which was bursting with prosperity, where enormous fortunes
were being amassed by big business families. He also heard
encouraging reports of a lesser city, Karachi, which had during
the last few years developed into an important seaport and
a flourishing centre of trade. He began to ponder in his mind
FROM KATHIAWAR TO KARACHI
should migrate to Bombay or to Karachi,
leaving Gondal behind for good. While greater chances of business
in Bombay tempted his mind, destiny made a decision for him,
a decision which resulted in my father and mother migrating
from Kathiawar to Karachi.
He had never seen a city as big
as Karachi, although at that time all that it could boast
of was Khadda, where sailing boats daily brought big catch
of fish to be dried in the open spaces under the sun and to
be stocked in fish-godowns that littered the coast line; Kharadar
which, as its name implies, was a cluster of houses, where
the saltish waters of the Arabian Sea wriggled themselves
on streets, lanes and by-lanes; Mithadar, where the sweet
waters of Lyari and Malir rivers could be obtained by digging
knee-deep wells; and Saddar, where British troops had their
Cantonment and barracks. My father rented a modest two room
apartment on Newnham Road in Kharadar, a locality which was
the business heart of the city. Here lived numerous business
families, some of them having come from Gujrat and Kathiawar.
The building was of stone masonry
and lime mortar; its roof and floorings being of wooden planks.
The apartment taken by my father was on the first floor, where
a spacious wooden and iron balcony projected above the pavement,
providing a cool and airy place for sitting during the day
and to spread a charpoy to sleep at night. The balcony and
the rooms faced West, which is the best direction in Karachi
to face in order to ensure a full blast of cool sea breeze
practically throughout the year.
The young Mr. Jinnah at first found
it difficult to hit upon a trade that offered an easy opening
to set up a lucrative business. He tried his hand at different
businesses by turns, and steadily went on adding to his modest
pile. He seemed to have the