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MY BROTHER 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 unauthorized 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 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
||He spoke on 19 November 1940.
||Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad (ed.), Speeches and Writings of Mr.
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.,
Ibid., p. 220.
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 Manshoor, 17 May 1941.13. Speeches and Writings of Mr. Jinnah, 1: 262-63.
14. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Speeches as Governor-General of
Pakistan (Islamabad: Directorate of Research, Reference and Publications, n.d.), p. 5 ; hereafter referred to as Speeches as G.G.
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.16. Speeches as G.G., pp. 29-30.
17. Ibid., pp.30-31.
18. Ibid., p. 114.
19. Ibid., p. 120.
20. Ibid., pp. 126-28.
21. Ibid., p. 137.
22. Ibid., p.152.
23. Ibid., p. 153. _
24. Ibid., pp. 154-155.
25. Ibid., p. 158.
26. Ibid., pp. 159-61.
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 in
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 which I 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., p. 8.
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 follows:" While 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.8.31. See ibid., p. 9.
32. Ilahi Bakhsh's version is as follows: ". .. . Downstairs in the drawing room I
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, p. 11.33. Speeches as G.G., pp. 162-63.
34. See also Ilahi Bakhsh, op, cit., pp. 14-15.
35. Ilahi Bakhsh's version is as follows: "Yes I am glad you have brought me
here. I was caught in at Ziarat". Ibid., p. 19. 36. See also ibid., p. 25.
37. See also ibid., p. 26.
38. Eid-ul-Fitr fell 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.
42. Because 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
WITH 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 smoldering 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 India.
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 grandfather, Poonja, 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 small village.
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 temptations 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 whether he 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
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