Quaid-e-Azam – Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Great Grandson
Last week the news about Jinnah’s maternal great grandson Aslam Jinnah surfaced as to how miserable and poor life his family were living while being the great grandson of Jinnah he should have some recognition. I was wondering Jinnah had only one daughter Dina Wadia (nèe Jinnah).
Dina got married to a Parsi born Indian Neville Wadia against the wishes of her father. Wikipedia states:
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, 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'”.
Dina and Neville lived in Mumbai and had a son and a daughter. Dina’s son Nusli Wadia is an industrialist and business tycoon. His sons – Dina’s grandsons and Jinnah’s great grandsons are Ness Wadia and Jeh (a.k.a Jehangir) Wadia.
About Jinnah’s rest of extended family:
The only grandson of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is Nusli Wadia, Chief Executive Bombay Dying & Manufacturing Company and lives in Bombay. There is no other grandson of Quaid-i-Azam. The only great grandsons are sons of Nusli Wadia who also live in Bombay. Jinnah’s daughter Dina Wadia lives in New York and Bombay.
This was stated by Liaquat Merchant, grandnephew of Quaid-i-Azam and grandson of Jinnah’s sister Mariambai in a clarification following media coverage which projected Aslam Jinnah as grandson or great grandson of Quaid-i-Azam and invitation extended to him by executives of Baitul Maal in Islamabad.
He said he had in past clarified his position on several occasions during period 2004 to 2007. He said it was incorrect to describe anyone except Nusli Wadia as Jinnah’s grandson.
Merchant, who is Administrator Estate of Quaid-i-Azam, Managing Trustee Jinnah Foundation, Executive Trustee Quaid-i-Azam Aligarh Education Trust, President Jinnah Society, author of publications on Jinnah and recipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz awarded by President of Pakistan in recognition of his publications on Jinnah, public services in health, education, said he had never met Aslam but thought he was probably a descendent from Nathoo Poonja family.
He said Quaid-i-Azam’s father Jinnah Poonja had two brothers — Walji Poonja and Nathoo Poonja. While grandsons of Walji Poonja had come forward and made claim for a share in Estate of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah in accordance with Hanafi/Sunni law in their capacity as distant kindred claiming through Jinnah’s paternal uncle Walji Poonja, there was no claim by any male descendent of Nathoo Poonja but a claim filed by one Jenabai, a daughter-in-law of one of grandsons of Nathoo Poonja but her application was dismissed as it did not merit consideration. No other claim has been filed up to date by any member of Nathoo Poonja family.
He said if Aslam is a descendent of Nathoo Poonja, he should establish his ancestry and make a claim before the Sindh High Court for a share. He said he only wished for record to be set straight and had no grievance or reservation against any member of Nathoo Poonja family.
Liaquat Merchant said descendents of Walji Poonja who were settled in Karachi included Muhammad Ali, Jaffer Ali, Hussein Ali and Ghulam Ali who are now survived by Amir Ali son of Hussainali Gangji Walji.
The immediate family of Quaid-i-Azam comprised of his daughter Mrs Dina Wadia and her son Nusli Wadia. Quaid’s sisters are Rehmatbai, Mariambai, Shirinbai and Fatima Jinnah. His brother Bande Ali died and his brother Ahmad who was married to a Sunni lady had one daughter Fatima Goepfert.
Merchant said children of Quaid’s sisters Rehmatbai, Mariambai and Shirinbai are no more alive. Daughter of Ahmed Jinnah lived in Switzerland while Fatima Jinnah did not marry.
Grandchildren of Quaid’s sister Mariambai, presently living in Karachi, are Kulsoom Ibrahim, Zehra Chandoo, Gulshan Chandoo, Rohina Peerbhoy, Liaquat Merchant, Hussein Ebrahim and Moonira Kassam. Other grandchildren of Jinnah’s sisters Rehmatbai and Mariambai live in Bombay and Calcutta.
Even if Aslam Jinnah is a relative of Quaid then the media shouldn’t call him his maternal great grandson. He might be a distant relative or he may not be related to him at all.
The history we read at schools never talk about such things. It is the responsibility of media and the historians to set the record straight.