Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, however, commended Bono, 53, for at least bringing up the Roma issue when he said in his address at the European People’s Party congress in Dublin on March seven: “Especially when times are tough…you see people turning against Roma, searching for scapegoats…”
But this fleeting mention by Bono to the sufferings of about 15-million Roma, who had been maltreated for centuries in Europe, would hardly make any dent in bringing Roma out of apartheid conditions, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Bono should not stay apathetic to the continuous maltreatment of Roma, which was happening right under his nose in Europe, and wholeheartedly come out to support the Roma cause.
Zed noted that the alarming condition of Roma people 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, etc.
Rajan Zed further said that references to Roma people in Europe reportedly went as far back as ninth century CE. How many more centuries Roma had to reside in Europe to prove that they were “real and equal” Europeans like any other, he asked.
Oscar nominated socially conscious Irish musician Bono, known for his activism, has been Time Person of the Year.