HINDUS AND Jews have asked European Union to officially declare Roma maltreatment as apartheid and then make all out effort to resolve it.
Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in United States of America, in a statement issued in Nevada, said that condition of Roma in Europe had most of the signs of an apartheid and everybody involved was explicitly aware of it. No more think tanks, research, analysis, surveys and polls were needed to measure the gravity of Roma societal exclusion, as it was starkly visible to the naked eye.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism and Rabbi Freirich, argued that most of much publicised fancy plans/programs launched by European Union and its various bodies, including ‘Decade of Roma Inclusion’, had failed to make a major dent to bring Roma at par with rest of the population. It was now time for Europe to come out of those cleverly coined terminology of Roma ‘projects/plans/programmes’ and ‘declaration/pledge/promise/initiative’ photo-ops and do something ‘concrete and real’ for Roma upliftment.
Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich urged various religious leaders and organisations of Europe to openly embrace and bless the Roma cause as religion told us to raise the voice for the helpless. It was a sin to watch the Roma suffer day after day for the last about 1200 years and not do anything about it.
Zed and Freirich pointed out that it was shocking to see how inhumanely Europe was treating its about 15 million Roma brothers-sisters. It was clearly reprehensible, hazardous and immoral and a blatant failure of Europe to meet its international obligations. When it came to Roma, Europe frequently failed to implement its own laws distinctly mentioned in its own books.
Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich further said that alarming condition of Roma people was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalisation, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.
Besides the absence of any serious efforts at their inclusion, Roma were being used as ‘punch bag’ and blamed for the social ills of Europe and many politicians even exploited segregation to their political advantage. European neglect was trapping Roma in cycles of persecution and poverty. Roma issue should be one of the highest priorities of human rights agenda of Europe and world, thus reversing the history of persecution, Zed and Freirich stressed.