As an Indian American observant Hindu in my 70s, and the mother of a 40 year old son who married a lovely Pakistani Muslim woman, I feel both intrigue and empathy toward your cover article (“Jinnah’s Daughter” India Currents, November 2015) on M.A. Jinnah and his stunning Parsee wife, Ruttie and beautiful daughter, Dina. I have read Akbar S. Ahmed’s work. You are correct that because Dina chose to not cross borders into unfamiliar territory, and Ruttie died before she herself could do so, both women are somewhat alienated by Pakistan.
My son’s in-laws often receive Pakistani newspapers such as The Pakistan Link, or Dawn or Akhbar-e-Jehan, which they share with me. I can tell you that every so often there are articles on Ruttie or Dina with fond descriptions of letters to the man they both loved, Jinnah, who, in his early days of law practice, before any notion of Pakistan entered his mind, was once described by Sarojini Naidu as the “ambassador on Hindu-Muslim unity.”
The youngest Indian graduate of Lincoln’s Inn, Jinnah, the barrister, was no stranger to controversy. Whether one agrees with the creation of Pakistan or not, the tragic issues with his personal life that you describe would be almost normal given political goals as unusually ambitious as his own. You have not mentioned, however, another woman in Jinnah and Dina’s life, Fatima Jinnah, a dentist, Dina’s aunt and his own sister, who quit her practice and moved with Dina and Jinnah to England after Ruttie died. This lady stayed with Jinnah till his death and yet remained close to Dina across the border. In contrast to Dina and Ruttie, Fatima became known as Madr-e-Millat (Mother of the Nation) for her loyalty. I do believe Jinnah was a secularist at heart although the politics of his time dictated some of his religious principles. Thank you for a well referenced article.
Lata Krishen, San Ramon
I enjoyed reading Ritu Marwah’s story (“Jinnah’s Daughter” India Currents, November 2015). The narrator has done an excellent job in presenting a historical view dating back several generations. Your publication has provided her a forum to express her deep knowledge and present a unique perspective.
Arun Gupta, email
The November cover story (“Jinnah’s Daughter” India Currents, November 2015) was an articulate, well researched and well written piece. It gave a wonderful insight to the problems faced by Jinnah, Nehru and Gandhi leading up to the freedom struggle. Wonderful and poignant stories like this so far have got lost in the torrent of the usual sensationalist reporting. Kudos to Ritu Marwah for this wonderful article and I hope you can publish more such articles.
R.V. Venkatesh, email
I love India Currents, and I share it with my friends/place it proudly on my coffee table. But I don’t understand your main story/cover this time. It was very disappointing.
Ritu Gupta, email
Lots of fascinating details in the article (“Jinnah’s Daughter” India Currents, November 2015). How much Ritu Marwah has read and brought together in the writing. Too often these people we write about are just cardboard figures in our history textbooks, either excessively celebrated or viciously reviled when they find mention in public discourse. In some ways I think the best thing about Ritu Marwah’s effort was how it made all of them human once more-with all their various quirks and fears and jealousies and whatever.
Dilip D’souza email
Modi’s Visit to Silicon Valley has been presented very well in your editorial (Modi’s Invisible Suit, India Currents, November 2015). You have given a critical view of his appearance on the stage, his speech and the general apathy of the American media. Yes bad happenings make good news, as you rightly pointed out. India’s obsession with international image is wrongly placed. India has its own strength and capabilities and as it has survived for thousands of years without help from others, it should even now depend on its own people and culture to forge ahead without noticing bouquets or brickbats from the outside world.
Suresh Mandan, email
Modi’s lack of international media visibility described in the editorial (Modi’s Invisible Suit, India Currents, November 2015) signifies that the media has myopic vision.
The contradictions in Indian society and Indian leaders (political leaders, really) are there in all societies and political leaders of all countries. Will you clarify how “the worshipping of goddesses” is a contradiction in a future editorial? The media and people must get rid of this “hindu-phobia” that they have developed and are harboring in their irrational minds.
Chandrakant Patel, email
As former Financial Controller for Microsoft India and later NIIT Ltd., I am well aware that consumers have a range of responses to and opinions about any given product or service. However, I was disappointed by the irresponsible misrepresentation of my current company, Landmark, in the recently published opinion piece by Sarita Sarvate. The errors and mischaracterizations of the entire personal development industry, including Landmark, do a disservice to your readers and dishonor not only the hundreds of thousands of people in India who participate in Landmark’s programs, but also the 2.4 million people worldwide who have done so. The fact is, HR.com /James MacNeil recognized Landmark as one of the top leadership and development training providers in the world, and 94% of participants surveyed agreed the Landmark Forum made a profound, lasting difference in the way they live their lives. While no particular program is for everyone, sensationalism for the sake of entertainment isn’t useful to anyone.
Balvinder Singh Sodhi, Senior Program Director, Landmark