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Europe urged to 'wholeheartedly' welcome Roma

Nevada, Jan 2 : A US-based Hindu group said it wants Europe to welcome Roma brothers and sisters with open arms if they decide to migrate fleeing discrimination and poverty in Romania and Bulgaria.


Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA), said that since Romanians and Bulgarians could work anywhere in European Union starting January one, host nations should be more sympathetic to Roma coming from these countries and give them all the help they needed to settle down in new home.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that Europe needed to wake up and shed apparent xenophobia on Roma issue. Instead of demonizing, marginalizing, dehumanizing and persecuting Roma; Europe should do something concrete to end Roma apartheid. European politicians needed to exhibit a strong will, commitment, intention and responsibility to bring concrete and lasting results on the reality of the Roma population, instead of just weaving dreams in capital boardrooms.

Zed further said that Europe's religious leaders and religious groups, especially His Holiness Pope Francis, should take-up the cause of Roma people and raise the issue of their continuous maltreatment; as religion taught us to plead for the oppressed, stand with the poor, and seek justice for those whom God loved and too often the world overlooked.

Alarming condition of Roma 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, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, unusually high unemployment rates, etc., Zed stated.

References to Roma people in Europe, who number around 15-million, reportedly went as far back as ninth century CE.

--IBNS (Posted on 02-01-2014)

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