Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that government of Czech Republic should take the worsening anti-Roma feeling seriously and provide Roma community the needed protection.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that Roma people in Czech Republic reportedly faced violent attacks, stereotyping, racism, prejudice, growing gap between Roma and other Czechs, fear, beatings, poor quality housing, systemic employment and overall discrimination, persecution, throwing of Molotov cocktails, social exclusion, marginalization; refused service at restaurants, stores, discos, etc.; municipalities/towns failing to support them; and the state being unwilling or unable to offer protection.
Rajan Zed further said that Czech religious leaders and religious groups, especially the majority Roman Catholic Church, 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.
Zed, strongly condemning Europe’s continuing maltreatment of Roma, stressed that it was time for Europe to wake-up and 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.
Europe needed to clarify to the world where it stood on the issue of Roma and how long it would let the clearly visible Roma apartheid continue throughout almost every European locale, Rajan Zed asked.
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.
Rajan Zed hoped that the country of Franz Kafka, Antonin Dvorak, Jaroslav Hasek, Karlovy Vary, and rich cultural heritage would not continue staying apathetic and silent spectator ignoring Roma apartheid and would come to their rescue. Milos Zeman and Jiri Rusnok are President and Prime Minister respectively of Czech Republic.
References to Roma people in Europe, who number around 15-million, reportedly went as far back as ninth century CE.