Hindus demand resignation of Romania President
The Hindu community demanded the resignation of Romanian President Traian Basescu on Tuesday after he was reportedly found guilty of discriminatory remarks about Roma (Gypsy) population by the country's official National Council for Combating Discrimination. Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement here on Tuesday, said that Basescu had no moral standing to continue in the government after making such disparaging remarks about a major group of the population. The Council reportedly fined Basescu for saying, "Very few of them (Roma) want to work'' and "Traditionally many of them live off stealing", in a news conference in Slovenia in 2010. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, although applauded the Council for declaring Basescu guilty, but criticized it for letting him go with just about USD 185 fine.
How a President could represent a country when he had such a prejudiced opinion about a large ethnic group of its population, he asked.
Rajan Zed sought European Union intervention if Basescu did not resign.
It seemed like an attempt by Romania's President to demonize the already most prejudiced against community in Europe and eternalizing negative stereotyping of them, instead of showing a strong political will to integrate them, Zed noted.
'Human Rights Practices for 2012', report about Romania by US Department of State said, "There was systematic societal discrimination against Roma...Anti-Roma banners, chants, and songs, particularly at large televised sporting events, were prevalent and widespread."
Europe's most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly encountering apartheid conditions in Europe.
Roma reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, Zed pointed out.
Romania's Roma community is said to be the biggest in Europe and according to reports, between 1.8 and 2.5 million Roma live in Romania and about 75 percent live in poverty.
At Berlin in January, Basescu again reportedly made derogatory remarks against Roma, besides calling a journalist "dirty Gypsy" in 2007 and blaming Roma of stealing in buses in 2011.
(Posted on 11-02-2014)