Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed is urging European Union (EU) to have 22 seats reserved for Roma (Gypsies) in European Parliament to give representation to this most persecuted community in Europe.
Upcoming European elections of May 22-25 will elect 751 members of the European Parliament (EP) representing EU's 500 million inhabitants, who will then shape European legislation over the next five years.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, stressed that since Roma were spread all over Europe and in view of prevailing xenophobia against them in many parts, it was nearly impossible for them to win elections to EP. Instead of silently watching about 15-million Roma suffer day after day for the last about 1200 years, which was immoral and a sin, EU needed to show strong political will and find a way to give them representation.
Rajan Zed urged His Holiness Pope Francis and other religious leaders of Europe to also demand representation for Roma in EP, as religion told us to help and love the helpless, defenseless and downtrodden. They should raise their voice against continuous Roma maltreatment and recognize, acknowledge and affirm the Roma as children of God who deserved to be treated like all other people- as equals, Zed added.
Zed further said that the alarming condition of the 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.