Jinnah-Ratti love story raised politico-religious storm in India, says writer Sheela Reddy

Hyderabad: Politics could provide a fertile ground for romance culminating in marriage. But it can also be the destroyer of a blissful marital relationship. This is what happened to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, in the early 20thcentury and his beau Ratti.

Jinnah’s first marriage with which he was never comfortable had collapsed. He was carrying on with life without thinking much about a possible second inning. But fate had something else in store for him.

At the age of 40 years, he met a 16-year-old enchanting Parsi girl from Mumbai with whom he fell in love head over heels. The girl, Ratti, the daughter of one of the richest businessmen in India Sir Dinshaw Petit and Sylla Tata was equally smitten by Jinnah. Sir Dinshaw Petit baffled at the marriage proposal from Jinnah opposed it tooth and nail. He wanted a court of law to restrain Jinnah for seeing his daughter. Jinnah and Ratti waited till she turned 18-years-old, went to the court and got married. The hell broke loose.

This fascinating account of Jinnah’s falling in love with a teenager, marrying her was followed by Ratti becoming disenchanted with Jinnah who was getting too involved in Indian politics of freedom struggle has been lucidly captured in book by a Hyderabad-born writer Sheela Reddy. The book, Mr and Mrs Jinnah—the marriage that shook India, has been creating ripples in social and political circles of the Indian sub-continent.

Sheela Reddy gave detailed account of the doomed romance while speaking with students who are preparing for All India Competitive exams at Maulana Azad National Urdu University on Friday. Reddy has made Delhi her home from where she has been writing for a variety of magazines. The book ends with the tragic death of Ratti in 1930. Jinnah never married again.

“I am planning to write the part of Jinnah’s life that begins in 1930 up to his death in Pakistan in 1948,” she said.

Prof Amir Ullah Khan, Director of Coaching Centre for Minorities Entry into Service, introduced the writer to the students who deluged her with their question following the lecture.