London: The small minority of Roma people - said to be descendants of the warrior classes of northern India - has been identified by a European Union (EU) agency as the group most vulnerable to racism in Europe.
In a report for 2005, the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) said the Roma gypsies in particular faced discrimination in employment, housing and education. They were also frequent victims of racial violence.
The Romas are considered gypsies and are identifiable by their language, religion and customs, which can be directly linked to those of Punjab in northern India. Analysis of the Roma language has shown that it is related to Hindi and Punjabi.
Other groups facing high levels of discrimination in many EU member states, according to EUMC, are migrant workers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.
According to INEP agency, Muslim groups face particularly challenging conditions in many member states, it said.
"The new anti-discrimination law has triggered some positive initiatives and measures," said Beate Winkler, director of EUMC.
However, she warned that most member states lack the necessary data to monitor social and economic policies that affect their ethnic communities.
"This means they are unable to assess how far they have come in breaking the vicious circle of deprivation, prejudice and discrimination," she added.
This year's annual report of EUMC is the EU's first comprehensive overview of racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim discrimination, and covers all 25 EU member states.
Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had supported the cause of the Roma people in Europe and had called for recognition and understanding of their culture by people of other ethnicities.
In a speech at the International Romani Festival in Chandigarh Oct 28, 1983, Gandhi had stated: "There are some 15 million Romas dispersed across the world. Their history is one of suffering and misery, but it is also one of the victories of human spirit over the blows of fate.
"Today the Romas revive their culture and are looking for their identity. On the other hand, they integrate into the societies in which they live.
"If they are understood by their fellow citizens in their new homelands, their culture will enrich the society's atmosphere with the colour and charm of spontaneity."
Well, again the "Roma People" instead of Romani People. It seems that somewhere the powers that be have really nicely pushed this in order to confuse things. However, it is correct to say that the small minority of Romani People - descendants of the warrior classes of northern India - has been identified by a European Union (EU) agency as the group most vulnerable to racism in Europe. But I don't think we would have needed the EU and all its lovely study groups to tell the wold and us that. We could have and should have done that. But, alas, no one listens to us Dirty Gyppos and they have to have big committees and such like to study this all for years. Kamlo Devel - we have lived it for centuries. Just come and ask us and we will show you.