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Maya Memsaab’s English

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“Let him ask.” Three simple words which have shot into the limelight, courtesy Mayawati. These apparently are the first words of English she has spoken in public. The occasion: a press conference where she asked a Lucknow journalist, in English, to allow an outsider journalist to ask a question. The journalist concerned asked about Gowda and Naidu and alliances in English. Before she answered, her Brahmin mascot Satish Chandra Mishra translated it into Hindi. Ajoy Bose writes in Behenji that she knows English but lacks the confidence to speak it. But the Dalit professor reported to be coaching her, former vice-chancellor of a university in UP, denies she’s taking lessons. “She is an LLB and obviously knows English,” he says.