“No 56 can stop you”: Karti shares letter to father P Chidambaram on 74th birthday

New Delhi | On the 74th birthday of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, his son Karti has written an open letter, taking several digs at the government.

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram is spending his 74th birthday today in Tihar jail, where he was sent on September 5 in a corruption investigation.

In a 2-page letter on Chidambaram’s 74th birthday, Karti Chidambaram has informed his father of the various events that have happened since he has been jailed while taking digs at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre.

The letter gets down to business with its opening line referring to the “56-inch chest” comment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his campaign in 2014: “You are turning 74 today and no 56!!!”

“…your birthday is not the same without you with us. We miss you, and your absence tugs at our hearts, and we wish you were back home to cut the cake with us. But of course, in today’s day and age, turning 74 is nothing compared to turning 100 days old,” Karti said in the letter, in a reference to Modi 2.0 government completing 100 days of office.

“The BJP government celebrates their unpropitious second innings and they couldn’t have possibly found a better time to silence you,” reads the letter.

He speaks about various events, and starts with ISRO’s lunar mission Chandrayaan 2.

“Isro chief K Sivan was visibly upset and the prime minister was at hand to offer his arms and comfort to him with his iconic head grab. I sincerely hope our prime minister pegs the achievements of our Isro scientists a little above what his bhakts believe – that India’s space programme, along with plastic surgery and aviation was created thousands of years ago…and not by Isro,” he said.

“No, not the drama of the lander losing communication, but the big drama a little after that. ISRo chief Dr (K) Sivan, our fellow Tamilian from Kanyakumari, was visibly upset and the Prime Minister was at hand to offer his arms and comfort him with his iconic head grab. I sincerely hope our Prime Minister pegs the achievements of our ISRO scientists a little above what his bhakts believe – that India’s Space Programme, along with plastic surgery and aviation, was created thousands of years ago…and not by ISRO. In fact, last week Piyush Goyal even snatched the theory of gravity away from Newton and pooh-poohed Einstein,” he says in the two-page letter.

Karti Chidambaram also mentioned Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement on the slowdown in auto sales, saying “you would have greatly appreciated Nirmala Sitharaman’s astute insight that the economic slowdown has been principally caused by the millennials’ preference for the ride-sharing apps.

On the security restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir since August 4 to prevent a backlash over the centre ending special status to the state, he writes: “Only you will understand the true plight of the Kashmiris. Because both of you have been locked down unfairly. Though you are better off than the people of Kashmir who are still under a government-imposed communication blackout.”

The letter goes on to recount international developments, each appended with a jibe at the government. Even Rafael Nadal’s US Open win inspires one.

“…It was something else to see him triumph on a surface that has repeatedly been unforgiving and cruel to him. Had you been at home, we would have definitely watched the match together. Rafael Nadal then shook hands with Medvedev, the way civilized opponents should. Not get vindictive and punish them for no cause,” says Karti’s letter.

“I have faith that you too will come out guns blazing against this elaborately staged political drama and for now, we all await that hard-fought glory of truth,” Karti concludes the letter.

The next hearing in this P Chidambaram’s case is scheduled on September 19 in Rouse Avenue Court and on September 23 at Delhi High Court.


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