Dina Wadia, the only daughter of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah passed away in New York on Thursday. Wadia was 98 years old. A spokesperson of the Wadia group which is currently headed by Dina’s son Nusli N Wadia confirmed her sad demise. Dina Wadia was Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter from his second wife Rattanbai Petit. She was settled in New York with her children and breathed her last at her New York residence. Wadia was married to a Parsi businessman with whom she moved to New York after staying in India for quite a while.
She was born on 15th August 1919 in London, her birthday is of great significance as 28 years down the line from the day of her birth, India and Pakistan were separated just 24 hours before – on 14th of August. However, Dina Wadia’s relationship with Pakistan and its people was not a fruitful one despite her father being regarded as the Quaid-e-Azam of the country. Dina Wadia’s only visit to Pakistan came in 2004 when former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf invited her to watch an iconic cricket game between India and Pakistan in Lahore. India had won the match by 40 runs, registering a historic first series win over the arch-rivals on their home soil. It was Dina’s first ever visit his father’s country after she was disowned by him for marrying a Parsi. She didn’t even travel to the country for his father’s funeral.
Wadia though, on her arrival in Pakistan in 2004, paid a visit to her father’s mausoleum and laid a floral wreath along with her son and grandchildren. “This has been very sad and wonderful for me. May his dream for Pakistan come true,” wrote Dina Wadia in the visitors’ book, expressing the emotions she went through during her brief stay at her father’s memorial.
Wadia Group, the family business empire is the father organisation to many familiar Indian brands such as Bombay Dyeing and Britannia. The group was founded by Loeji Nusserwanjee Wadia in 1736 when he opened a Marine Construction company that built ships for the British. He was one of India’s first master shipbuilders and a pioneer of the global shipbuilding industry. However, later the Wadia’s entered into diverse businesses expanding the empire which is currently led by Dina Wadia’s son Nusil Wadia.