Not knowing English - an "achievement" in the lexicon of the Samajwadi Party - can be a handy political tool too.
Party leader Mohan Singh made good use of it when he was quizzed about the fact that the party had bailed the government out on retail FDI in Parliament despite its opposition to the move.
The query came on a day when Singh was set to join Opposition demanding a probe into reports that Walmart had spent $25 million for market access in countries including India.
Reminded that the SP had “helped” the government through its abstentions during the vote — and was joining the Opposition against Walmart now — Singh steered his party clear of the controversy with a pearl of wisdom: “No SP leader knows English. So, SP can’t play any role for advocating entry of foreign companies.”
Also, not only did he join the Opposition in demanding the matter be probed, but also said that foreign companies are known to spend huge money when they enter a country. The fetish for rejecting English has been an old one for the SP, though many thought there would be changes under a foreign-educated Akhilesh Yadav, the UP CM and son of English-baiter Mulayam Singh Yadav.