Hindus have applauded Vatican and other Catholic leaders for
reportedly speaking against the Roma (Gypsy) crackdown in France.
“It is a step in the right direction”, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said
in a statement in Nevada (USA) today and added that other religious
elite of Europe should also come out openly against the reported
maltreatment of Roma communities in France, which smelled of
xenophobia, racism, and intolerance.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, had stressed
in the past that condition of Roma in Europe had most of the signs of
“apartheid” and it was happening right under Pope’s nose and had
repeatedly appealed him to openly embrace Roma cause and come up with
a White Paper on their plight.
Religions told us to help the helpless and have love and compassion
for them. It was a sin to silently watch about 15 million Roma suffer
day after day for the last about 1200 years and not do anything about
it. It was our moral obligation to make efforts to stop frequent human
rights violations suffered by Roma, Rajan Zed argued.
Zed pointed out that besides France, there were also reports of Roma
deportations (or plans to deport) from Denmark, Germany, Sweden,
Belgium, United Kingdom, etc.; despite their being Europeans. It was
even more disgusting to know that tens of thousands of European Roma
were still reportedly stateless, thus denying them even basic human
Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma reportedly
regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education,
hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower
life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes,
mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization,
appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc.,
Rajan Zed said.