Hindu scholars are applauding Hungarian officials for funding a new movie about the plight of Roma gypsies.
Csak a szel (Just The Wind), which will premiere at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival in Germany, chronicles the daily fight Europe's travelling communities face just to survive at the hands of people who would rather not have them in their country.
And top Hindus, who claim Roma gypsies hail from India, have saluted the film's backers for making a "step in the right direction" and highlighting "the dark side of continuous Roma maltreatment".
Bence Fliegauf's film features amateur Roma actors Lajos Sarkany, Katalin Toldi, Gyongyi Lendvai and Gyorgy Toldi and will compete for a top prize at the film festival, which begins this week (09Feb12).
Rajan Zed, the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, says, "In Hungary, despite various government initiatives, Roma face blatant discrimination, shanty town living, an atmosphere of hostility, huge unemployment rate, lower life expectancy, prejudice, significantly higher school drop-out rate, racism, media bias and stereotyping, school segregation, social exclusion, mistrust and human rights violations.
"Instead of continuing to marginalise Roma socially, this country of Lake Balaton, the romantic Danube River, Franz Liszt and Bela Bartok, should be more embracing of the Roma brothers and sisters who have been living with them since 14th century."
And he hopes the film will prompt other European nations to tackle their Roma issues: "It's a moral obligation of Europe to take care of its largest minority Roma population and stop human rights violations suffered by them."
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