Hindus are urging France President Francois Hollande to issue an official apology over refusal of burial space to a few months old Roma (Gypsy) infant by Mayor of Champlan, 14 miles south of Paris.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that everybody had a fundamental right of a decent burial. Champlan Mayor denying burial space to a child simply because she was Roma was a blatant case of racism and simply inhuman and should not be acceptable in the 21st century Europe.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that France and Europe should be ashamed of this act of xenophobia and continued apartheid conditions faced by Roma people. European Union (EU) needed to come out of glass houses in Brussels, show some responsibility and save the about 15-million Roma people of Europe from continued abuse. How long the EU would keep on looking the other way while the Roma continued to face maltreatment day after day, Zed asked.
Rajan Zed urged His Holiness Pope Francis and religious leaders of France to raise their voice against Roma apartheid as religion told us to help the helpless. Their silence on this issue was very puzzling and ungodly, Zed noted.
Moreover, dismantling of Roma camps without providing adequate accommodation and forced evictions of Roma people from France should immediately end; and France should make honest efforts for social inclusion and rehabilitation of voiceless Roma communities, who had been around in Europe since ninth century CE, Zed stressed.
Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc., Rajan Zed indicated.