Fatima Jinnah (Born : 30 July, 1893) also known as Madr-e-Millat, mother of the nation, Fatima Jinnah’s name is an important one among the leaders of Pakistan’s independence movement. Though she is most loved for being an ardent supporter of her brother, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of Muslim India, there is much more to Fatima Jinnah.
Fatima Jinnah was born in 1893. When the Jinnahs lost their father in 1901, Fatima came under the guardianship of her older brother. Encouraged by her brother, she completed her education, living in a hostel while attending Dr Ahmad Dental College. In 1923, at a time when taking up a profession was considered inappropriate for girls from Muslim families, Fatima Jinnah opened her own dental practice in Calcutta. She had the full support of her brother, yet faced opposition from the rest of the family. When Quaid-e-Azam’s wife, Rutti Jinnah, passed away leaving behind a daughter, Fatima Jinnah gave up her practice and went to live with her brother taking charge of the house and her young niece.
|Full Name:||Fatima Ali Jinnah|
|In Urdu :||فاطمہ علی جناح|
|Nationality:||Pakistani , Famous Pakistani Women|
|Residence:||Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan|
|Education:||University of Calcutta|
|Date:||31 July 1893|
|Place:||Karachi, British Raj (Now Pakistan)|
|Parents:||Poonja Jinnah,Mithibai Jinnah|
|Siblings :||Muhammad Ali Jinnah|
|Date:||08 July 1967 AD|
|Cause of death :||Murder|
|Profession:||Dentist, dental surgeon|
|Others Profession :||Politician|
|Political party :||All-India Muslim League (Before 1947) & Muslim League (1947–1958) & Independent (1960–1967)|
|Role:||Leader of the Opposition|
|In office:||1 January 1960 – 9 July 1967|
|Preceded by :||Position established|
|Succeeded by :||Nurul Amin|
Fatima Jinnah was the youngest of eight brothers and sisters born to Jinnah’s father Poonja Jinnah, a comfortable
merchant of Karachi. In appearance Fatima Fatima resembled
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, her eldest brother.
In 1902, she was sent
to the Bandara convent where she remained in the hostels as her
parents had died. In 1919, she enrolled in Dr. Ahmed’s Dental
College at Calcutta. On graduating in 1923, she opened her own
dental clinic in Bombay.
By his support for his sister, Jinnah
made a point that he was not averse to the idea of girls getting
higher education. He always wanted women to participate in
political rallies. Fatima was always at her brother’s side on all
public occasions. She made speeches at various girls schools and
colleges, and also at the women’s rallies.
No wonder she came
to be known as Khatoon-i-Pakistan.
He trusted her implicitly
and she had full faith in him. Once Jinnah told his naval ADC
Ahsan, “nobody had faith in me; everyone thought I was mad
except Miss Jinnah”.
After Jinnah’s death, she came to be called
Later Life with Mohammed Ali Jinnah
A graceful lady, dignified, personification of eastern
simplicity, confident with a countenance of keen comprehension
of men and matters, personified Fatima Jinnah. Born in a well
off business family, she developed attributes of greatness like her
brother Mohammad Ali Jinnah who took charge of young
Fatima.30 Professionally a dentist at a time when Muslim women
were all clad in pardah, she learned to stand on her own feet. She
developed feelings of sympathy for others and tried to ameliorate
their problems. When her sister-in-law Ratti Jinnah died in 1929,
she readily wound up her clinic and came to live with her brother
and stayed at his side until his death in 1948.
She accompanied her brother to every public appearance that he made.During the transfer of power in 1947, Jinnah formed the Women’s Relief Committee, which later formed the nucleus for the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) founded by Rana Liaquat Ali Khan. She also played a significant role in the settlement of Muhajirs in the new state of Pakistan.
In the 1960s, she returned to the forefront of political life when she ran for the presidency of Pakistan as a candidate for the Combined Opposition Party of Pakistan (COPP). She described her opponent, Ayub Khan, as a dictator. In her early rallies, nearly 250,000 people thronged to see her in Dhaka, and a million lined the 293-mile route from there to Chittagong. Her train, called the Freedom Special, was 22 hours late because men at each station pulled the emergency cord, and begged her to speak. The crowds hailed her as Madr-e-Millat, (Mother of the Nation).
In her speeches, she argued that by coming to terms with India on the Indus Water dispute, Ayub had surrendered control of the rivers to India. She narrowly lost the election, winning a majority in some provinces. The election did not involve direct democracy of the population, and some journalists and historians believe that if it had been a direct election she could have won.
In the course of preparations for the elections there were
two main political rivals, the ruling Muslim League and a bloc of
opposition parties. The struggle between these two camps
reached its climax when the meetings of the candidates met with
representatives of the basic democracies who formed the
electoral college for the election of the president in accordance
with the 1962 constitution. Fatima Jinnah had generally kept
herself aloof from politics and the affairs of the state. Ayub
Khan, on the other hand, was the sitting president and enjoyed
the support of the armed forces, the bureaucracy and the Basic
Democrats. On top of this the opposition parties were divided
with no attractive programme.From the 1960s there had been a
growing linkage between the army and state ideology. Fatima
Jinnah stood no chance.
Muhammad Ali Jinnahs companion
She lived with her brother until 1918, when he married Rattanbai Petit. Upon Rattanbai’s death in February 1929, she closed her clinic, moved into her brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s bungalow, and took charge of his house. This began the lifelong companionship that lasted until her brother’s death on 11 September 1948.
Paying tribute to his sister, Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said, “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”.
- In 1923, she graduated from university and opened a dental clinic in Bombay.
- In 1929, Jinnah closed her dental clinic to take care of her brother full-time. She was prompted to do this after his wife’s demise.
- In 1930, when her brother Muhammed Ali moved to London, she followed. She stayed there four years and perfected her English.
- In 1940, she attended a session of the ‘Muslim League’ in Lahore. A year later, she founded the ‘All India Muslim Women Students Federation’ in Delhi.
- In 1947, when India became independent from Britain, Fatima became much more politically active. She formed the ‘Women’s Relief Committee’.
- At the same time, her brother and guardian, Muhammed Ali Jinnah founded the nation of Pakistan. She attended most of his public rallies and speeches.
- In 1948, she toured refugee camps in Kashmir. Afterwards, she pushed her brother to accept more immigrants into the country.
- After her brother’s death on September 11, 1948, she continued her work with charitable organizations.
- In 1949, she organized a festival as part of world health day. She did this to promote better prenatal and newborn health in her country.
- In 1955, Jinnah helped organize a committee to help victims of a flood in East Pakistan. Two years later, he helped raise funds to build a number of hospitals and clinic to treat victims of tuberculosis.
- In 1960, she was elected as a member of parliament. Fatima ran as an independent candidate. She held the position for seven years.
- In 1962, the constitution was amended. Democratic elections for president were scheduled for three years hence.
- In 1965, Jinnah ran for President of Pakistan. She was the candidate for a group of opposition parties. She narrowly lost the election to Ayub Khan. Because the voting tallies for Jinnah and Khan had been so close, Jinnah’s campaign called for a recount of the votes. Khan ultimately remained president.
- In 1967, Jinnah gave a historical speech to the nation. She warned that ‘cowards die many deaths, the valiant never taste death but once’, a sharp jab at the ruling president.
- On July 9, 1967, Jinnah died after a brief illness.
Miss Jinnah accompanied Jinnah every where. When
seriously ill on 12 August 1948, she ordered the move to Karachi
be kept a secret. She did not want any one to see him lying
helpless on the stretcher. Professor Mahmud Brelvi in interview
with Hector Bolitho recalled that she would never allow her
brother to enjoy himself . Near
N.W.F.P when they saw that Miss Jinnah was unveiled they
turned their backs . Miss Jinnah
bickered constantly. She disliked Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, the
roots were petty matters said here and there. She was an old
fascist . She was beastly to
Jinnah . Jinnah praised her once in her presence in Amir
of Bahawalpur’s place. Miss Jinnah kept her brother’s house
hold and looked after women’s wing in Muslim League. She
managed all things . Colonel Knowles liked Jinnah
and Fatima Jinnah. Dina Jinnah said about Miss Jinnah that she
was not very intelligent and was simple, and she hated all
politicians. None of the servants liked her or her proud ways.
Nurse Dunham described the terrible events after Jinnah’s death.
Miss Jinnah was furious. When the priests came to read the
Koran over Jinnah, Miss Jinnah would not allow them into the
room where he lay and insisted they read on the veranda outside.
Death of Fatima Ali Jinnah
On 11 July 1967, in early hours she was discovered
dead. Doctors pronounced the reason as heart failure due to old
age. Many newspapers published this report. Others like M. A.
H. Ispahani said her death was a result of natural causes.
Matlub-ul-Hassan Syed, Quaid’s personal secretary for many
stated that she was at Mir Laik Ali Khan’s dinner when she
complained of low blood pressure due to which she was
discovered dead in the morning.But according to Mir Laik Ali
Khan himself she left his house in good spirits.
Khursheed declared that her neck had wrinkles but it was wrong
to presume that the cause of her death was strangulation.
Madar-i-Millats Message to the Nation
Message on Eid-ul-Azha 1967
“The immediate task before you is to face the problem and bring the country back on the right path with the bugles of Quaid-i-Azam’s message. March forward under the banner of star and the crescent with unity in your ranks, faith in your mission and discipline. Fulfill your mission and a great sublime future awaits your enthusiasm and action. Remember: ‘cowards die many times before death; the valiant never taste death
but once.’ This is the only course of action which suits any self-respecting people and certainly the Muslim Nation.”
Message on Eid-ul-Azha 1965
“Let us sink all our differences and stand united together under the same banner under which we truly achieved Pakistan and let us demonstrate once again that we can, united, face all dangers in the cause of glory of Pakistan, the glory that the Quaid-i-Azam envisaged for Pakistan.”