by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Hindus want European Union (EU) to focus on ending the apartheid suffered by the Romani People during its self-declared “2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was a good opportunity for EU to show responsibility and prove that it was really serious in its social equality and combating poverty pledges by delivering some concrete results by bringing the Romani into the mainstream.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that before “2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion” turned out to be an empty slogan and just another paper plan; EU should wholeheartedly work to end the centuries of apartheid faced by its Romani People, who reportedly began migration to Europe as early as ninth century AD.
Rajan Zed pointed out that despite various high-flown “Roma Inclusion” projects launched in the past in Europe, the Romani People reportedly regularly faced racism, substandard education, hostility, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.
Zed argued that although almost everybody in Europe agreed that the Romani People faced deeply embedded institutional discrimination and social exclusion, but almost no solid steps had come out to improve their condition despite lot of “sweet talk” and “paper-pushing”. It was simply immoral to let this around 15 million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations. Their alarming condition was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world.
Although “Combating poverty and social exclusion ranks among the main objectives of the European Union and its Member States”, but the Rom continue to suffer in Europe. Rajan Zed urged European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Spanish Presidency of the EU lead by Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to show effective implementation, firm commitment and strong political will to improve the plight of Europe's Romani-Gypsy. It is moral obligation of Europe to take care of its frequently maltreated Romani People.