PER­SON­AL­ITY PRO­FILES SENT BY FOR­EIGN OF­FICE TO LON­DON

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - NATION -

INDIRA GANDHI

She is very sen­si­tive to crit­i­cism and un­for­giv­ing to­wards those who she thinks have let her down or slighted her per­son­ally. She can be un­com­mu­nica­tive and uses si­lence as a weapon but when she chooses she can be charm­ing, mod­est, a good host­ess and an amus­ing racon­teur.

R VENKA­TRA­MAN

He was prob­a­bly the only Union Cab­i­net Min­is­ter in­de­pen­dent minded enough to make a mark of his own and while in the Min­istry of Fi­nance he wielded a ma­jor in­flu­ence on eco­nomic pol­icy. He suc­cess­fully re­sisted San­jay Gandhi’s en­croach­ments… Strict veg­e­tar­ian (no eggs).

RA­JIV GANDHI

Ed­u­cated at Doon School, a tu­to­rial col­lege in Lon­don and Trin­ity Col­lege Cam­bridge (1962-65) where he read En­gi­neer­ing although failed to get a de­gree (his friends say this was lack of work rather than lack of abil­ity but he is very sen­si­tive about it)… He is not an in­tel­lec­tual, nor im­pul­sive. Ra­jiv mar­ried So­nia, an Ital­ian girl (who took In­dian cit­i­zen­ship only in 1983), he met at Cam­bridge, in 1968. She is good-look­ing, quiet, and while not in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics, clearly gives him a feel­ing of se­cu­rity at home. She got on well with Mrs Gandhi.

MANEKA GANDHI

(She) is more of a per­sonal em­bar­rass­ment to Mrs Gandhi, and more par­tic­u­larly to Ra­jiv, than a po­lit­i­cal force… (She) is po­lit­i­cally as­tute and am­bi­tious, a very ef­fec­tive speaker in public, is well-known and can af­ford to play her pol­i­tics long.

PV NARASIMHA RAO

An ex­pe­ri­enced, well-re­spected politi­cian. He de­pends for his po­lit­i­cal weight en­tirely on Mrs Gandhi. Although he is very typ­i­cal of loyal, re­li­able and pli­able Min­is­ters she likes to have around her, he is well thought of by his of­fi­cials… (He) has a pleas­ant and in­for­mal man­ner, a good ca­pac­ity to lis­ten and a quiet, un­showy self-con­fi­dence.

PRANAB MUKHERJEE

A diminu­tive, se­ri­ous, hard­work­ing man. Has a friendly, easy man­ner and goes down well in the busi­ness world. No­body has any il­lu­sions, how­ever, about his in­de­pen­dence of spirit; he is very much Mrs Gandhi’s man.

SWRAJ PAUL

(He) has ma­jor in­ter­ests and pow­er­ful con­tacts in In­dia. He en­joys ex­cel­lent ac­cess to Mrs Gandhi and her son Ra­jiv, to the point where he has been dubbed at times as an “al­ter­na­tive In­dian High Com­mis­sioner in Lon­don”. He is a gen­er­ally re­li­able source of in­for­ma­tion on think­ing in Delhi.

ZAIL SINGH

He did not im­press dur­ing his ten­ure as home min­is­ter, a key po­si­tion he owed to his un­ques­tion­ing loy­alty to Mrs Gandhi (and ear­lier to San­jay) rather than to abil­ity… His own com­mand of English is poor.

MO­HAM­MAD HAMID AN­SARI

(Chief of Pro­to­col since 1980): An­sari’s present po­si­tion rep­re­sents an un­usual break in a ca­reer over­whelm­ingly con­cerned with the Arab world. Played a ma­jor role in or­gan­is­ing the visit of the Prince of Wales (1980), the Prime Min­is­ter (1981) and the Queen (1983).

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