Fatima Jinnah “The Mother of Nation”

by Farzeen Amin

‘No Nation can rise to the height of glory unless women are side by side’

Fatima Jinnah is the name that needs no introduction. Being the sister of  Quaid e azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah she participated in every struggle that took  place for the independence of separate homeland for the Muslims of Sub-continent. Fatima Jinnah had never left the sight of her brother; she always stood strong in every situation.

Fatima Jinnah was born in Karachi on 30th July 1893. She took birth in a highly respectful family. Fatima Jinnah had five more siblings other than Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Her father Jinnah Poonja died when she was really young and her complete responsibility came over her elder brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah. She completed her schooling from Bandra Convent in Bombay. Later in 1919 she studied dentistry in University of Calcutta. After the completion of her studies Fatima Jinnah opened a dental clinic.

The life of Fatima Jinnah took a complete turn in 1929 when she closed her clinic and permanently started taking care of her brother Muhammad Ali Jinnah. When Muhammad Ali Jinnah left British India and shifted to London she quickly agreed to move with him. Fatima Jinnah had never hesitated to compromise anything for her brother and his struggle for an independent state of Pakistan

Fatima Jinnah use to attend every speech given by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and every conference held by him. She walked shoulder to shoulder with her brother. Whereas Muhammad Ali Jinnah was fighting on the forefront Fatima Jinnah also continued to convince students and women to participate in the politics. In 1940 All India Muslim women federation was formed under her leadership in Delhi. She was well aware and a vigilant women who had always stood tall against British rule and Hindu dominance.

In 1947 she crossed the border to enter Pakistan alongside her brother. In 1947 she had toured the refugees in Kashmir. It was Fatima who had convinced her brother to accept more refugees as Pakistani citizen. Fatima Jinnah was very strong at her arguments. Unfortunately in the same year Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah died on 11 September. Fatima Jinnah was left alone but she never stopped working she had worked for the improvement of health sector. She loved to do the charitable. After the flood in East Pakistan it was Fatima Jinnah who has adamant to help the fellow countrymen by every mean.

Her political struggle had not died with her brother. She became the member of Parliament in 1960. In 1962 she contested the election of president against general Ayub Khan which she unfortunately lost on very close count. She had not accepted her defeat and she demanded a recount of votes but Ayub Khan remained president by force. She suffered from illness in 1967 which caused the death of a brave woman. She had died in 1967 but her words remained alive for eternity. In her last speech she said that” cowards die many deaths, the valiant never taste death but once”.

Fatima Jinnah had keen interest in human welfare and development. She devoted her life for the independence and development of the people of Pakistan. Through the struggle of her life she had earned the Title of ‘Mother of Nation’. A woman who had lived like a lioness and died like it.