Hindu Leaders Urge Bono To Address Roma Issue
Leading Hindus are urging U2 frontman BONO to focus his humanitarian efforts on the Roma apartheid in Europe in the hopes his support could end the suffering of displaced Indians.
Religious leaders insist the alarming treatment of Roma people, who migrated to mainland Europe from India in the 11th century, is a social blight for Europe as the 15-million Roma people face social exclusion, prejudice, high unemployment, racism, substandard education and hostility - and Bono has been suggested as their saviour.
Rajan Zed, the leader of the Universal Society of Hinduism, states, "(The) Roma issue should be one of the highest priorities of human rights agendas of Europe and the world."
And he hopes Bono will not remain "a silent spectator when fellow Roma brothers/sisters were reportedly facing blatant injustice and discrimination in Europe".
Meanwhile, Thomas Hammarberg, the Commissioner for the Human Rights of Council of Europe, has revealed, "Anti-Gypsyism continues to be a major human rights problem in Europe. Governments must start taking serious action against both official and inter-personal discrimination of Roma."
In a recent report about the ongoing problem, he cited incidents where Roma children were forced to strip and violently slap one another in a Slovakia police station and the sudden eviction of Roma families in Belgrade without alternative accommodation.
Zed has also urged Pope Benedict XVI, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan D. Williams, and other church and faith leaders to address the issues facing the Roma people.