P Chidambaram turned 74 on Monday (Image: PTI File)
Greetings from well-wishers make him feel "74 years young", Congress leader P Chidambaram, in jail on charges of corruption, said through his family on his birthday on Monday, and added that his thoughts on the day are on the economy. Birthday wishes for Chidambaram, who is in judicial custody in Tihar jail in connection with alleged corruption in clearances given to INX Media when he was finance minister, came from his party colleagues as well as his son Karti Chidambaram. The veteran Congress leader thanked everybody and said his spirits had lifted higher.
"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," he said on Twitter.
In another tweet, he said his thoughts today are about the country's 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," he said.
"May God bless this country," he added.
His party colleague Jairam Ramesh said Chidambaram is going through an "agnipariksha" and will come out of it vindicated.
"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," he tweeted."
Party leader K C Venugopal also sent his greetings on Twitter.
"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional. I am sure that the vendetta politics can't defeat you. Happy Birthday to P Chidambaram."
The Mahila Congress referenced tennis ace Rafael Nadal.
"Following his US Open victory, Rafael Nadal said, 'The emotions sometimes are impossible to control and I tried to resist but it was difficult,'... Happy Birthday to @PChidambaram_IN ji".
In a letter to his father on his 74th birthday, Karti informed his father about events since he was was put in jail and used the opportunity to take swipes at the BJP government.
"You'are 74 years old and no 56!!! can stop you,"" Karti wrote to his father as he wished him on his birthday.
Chidambaram has been lodged in Tihar jail since September 5 by a Delhi court in connection with the INX Media corruption case.
"...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.
The BJP government, he added, celebrates its "unpropitious second innings" and couldn't have possibly found a better time to silence his father.
Chidambaram has been lodged in Tihar Jail since September 5 by a Delhi court in connection with the INX Media corruption case.