6 FEBRUARY 1988, Page 9

DRAMATIS PERSONAE Rajiv Gandhi: Prime Minister since October 1984. The

original Mr Clean.

V. P. Singh: finance minister (till January 1987), defence minister (till April 87) left Congress Party in July 1987 to become biggest political threat to Rajiv Gandhi. The new Mr Clean.

Giani Zail Singh: President of India from July 1982 to July 1987. Former home minis- ter. Once declared he was prepared to sweep floors if Rajiv's mother asked him to. To- wards the end came close to dismissing Rajiv. Very keen on a second term he didn't get.

Ramnath Goenka: chairman of Indian Ex- press group. Founded paper in 1932 to campaign against British rule and has work- ed on it in every capacity including loading newspapers in vans. A fighter who knows how to fight — and then settle. Close to Hindu right-wing opposition.

S. Gurumurthy: Financial adviser to Goenka. Chartered accountant involved in diverse activities. Formerly member and now sympathiser of RSS, Hindu fascist organisa- tion.

S. Mulgaokar: editorial advisor to chairman, Express group. Columnist on Indian Ex- press, formerly editor-in-chief. Grand old man of Indian journalism. Critic of Rajiv Gandhi.

Suman Dubey: Editor-in-chief of Indian Ex- press (July 1986-April 1987). Close friend of PM from Doon School and Trinity Cam- bridge. Currently key government media adviser.

Arun Shourie: Executive editor of Indian Express (1978-82 and February-April 1987) editor-in-chief of Indian Express (April 1987 onwards) India's best known investigative journalist. Close to Hindu right-wing opposi- tion. Brother-in-law of Suman Dubey. Fierce critic of Indira Gandhi, and now of her son, after a short lived honeymoon.