PC turns 74, son cheers father 'no 56!!! can stop you'

PC turns 74, son cheers father 'no 56!!! can stop you'

Sivaganga MP and former finance minister P Chidambaram's son - Karti Chidambaram - in his office. (DH Photo)

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday turned 74 in Tihar Jail. On his first birthday in jail, his son and Lok Sabha MP Karti cheered him up with a letter saying, "no 56!!! can stop you".

Karti's reference was to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had in January 2014 said that "a 56-inch chest" is needed to convert Uttar Pradesh into a state as developed as Gujarat, which he helmed as Chief Minister then. "You can't make a Gujarat. That needs a 'chhappan inch ki chhati' (56-inch chest)," Modi had said.

Chidambaram is in 14-day judicial custody, which ends on September 19.

Chidambaram tweeted: "I have asked my family to tweet on my behalf the following: My family have brought me greetings from friends, party colleagues and well-wishers. I am reminded that I am 74 years old. Indeed I am but at heart I feel 74 years young. Thank you all, my spirits have been lifted higher."

On his birthday, he also had thoughts about the country's economy. "My thoughts today are about the economy. Just one statistic tells the story. Export growth in August was -6.05%. No country has achieved GDP growth of 8% without exports growing at 20% a year. May God bless this country," he tweeted.

Karti wrote a two-page letter to his father in which he said, "You are turning 74 today and no 56!!! can stop you. Although you have never been one for grand celebrations, and nowadays in the country, we seem to be making grand celebrations of our of every little thing, your birthday is not the same without you with us."

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi government crossing the 100-day mark, Karti said that in today's day and age, turning 74 "is nothing compared to turning a 100-days old". Especially when "you are not one to gup-shup with the Delhi gang, adulation from the press is rare to come by. Nevertheless, I am glad, I go to see you and know that your spirits are high despite everything".

In his letter, Karti referred to Chandrayaan-2, Kashmir lockdown, British Parliament, NRC, Hong Kong protests, Union Minister Piyush Goyal's "Einstein discovered gravity without maths" speech and Rafael Nadal's victory among other current events.

"In fact, last week, Piyush Goyal even snatched the theory of gravity away from Newton and pooh-poohed Einstein. But I must say it must be rather relatively easy for Bhakts to get confused between the two," Karti said about Vikram lander and Goyal's speech.

On Kashmir, he said "Kashmir's been under lockdown for over 40 days, and the government has decided to give apples their freedom. What next? Carpets? Only you will understand the true plight of the Kashmiris. Because both of you have been locked down unfairly."

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted his birthday wishes, "Today PC turns 74. It is an 'agnipariksha' he is going through but he will come out of it vindicated. I have worked very closely with him since 1986 and it has been a great privilege and education doing so. My thoughts are with him."