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   A lot of people are confused between Mr. Arun Nehru and Mr. Arun Singh... (April 10, 1985)

A lot of people are confused between Mr. Arun Nehru and Mr. Arun Singh and not only because both have the same first name.

There are other similarities that are likely to confuse. Both are, or are said to be close to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Both have been given rather vague jobs to do, which though they seem to be very run-of-the-mill jobs are said to be actually very powerful jobs, given only to those in whom the prime minister has complete confidence and who have gone to school with him.

Both are low-profile persons, though one is a little more low-profile than the other. And both are not born politicians, having earlier had those super perks non-jobs like being executives in paint companies in Calcutta.

In appearances, no doubt, they are different. One is large and fat, with thick, splayed fingers, that he consciously folds in front of him when appearing in close-ups on television. The other is not fat. However the majority of Indians who are not directly involved in Congress-I politics, would not at this moment know which Arun is large and fat and which is not.

What else? Is it said that one word from either of them would get a minister dismissed or get him devalued (as Mr. Narasimha Ro and Mr. S.B. Chavan have been though it is not known whether in their cases the word came from Mr. Arun Nehru or Mr. Arun Singh) or promote a non-minister to the cabinet.

It is also said that when chief ministers of various states make air dashes to New Delhi to meet the prime minister, if instead of the prime minister, if instead of the prime minister they meet one of the two Aruns they feel their air dash has been successful. The chances are they only meet Mr. Moopanar.

I have never seen Mr. Arun Singh but I once saw Mr. Arun Nehru. It was a couple of days before the start of the Asian Games, when Mr. Rajiv Gandhi used to go around the various stadia and see that everything was properly painted and screwed down. Mr. Buta Sigh and Mr. Arun Nehru used to accompany him everywhere.

I saw the three examining the divind-board at the Talkatora in door swimming pool. Mr. Talkatora in door swimming pool. Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Buta Singh were on the diving board Mr. Arun Nehru was standing below, probably because his size and weight made it uncomfortable for him to climb up.

From then I have known that the large gentleman is Mr. Arun Nehru is more powerful at the moment or Mr. Arun Singh. It keeps varying. The best way to find out would be to ask Mr. Murli Deora which Arun he is nervous about more.

 
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