Hindus have expressed serious concern at the rising anti-Roma sentiment in some quarters of Bulgaria.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, asked the European Union (EU) to urgently intervene and protect the human rights and freedoms of Roma (Gypsies) in Bulgaria.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that Roma had always been used as a scapegoat in history, and last week also reportedly saw number of anti-Roma rallies and violence in Bulgaria blaming Roma for almost all the major problems faced by the country like corruption, crime, etc., and asking for dismantling of their settlements. Language of hatred did not belong in a civilized and moral world and must be put to an end, Zed said and added that all Bulgarians, Roma or non-Roma, should be treated equally and fairly.
Rajan Zed stressed that Roma upliftment should be the first priority in Bulgaria and Europe as their maltreatment was a dark stain on the face of the continent. It was simply immoral to continue staying apathetic and silent spectator ignoring Roma plight, who reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc.
Commissioner for Human Rights of Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg visited a Roma settlement in the Republika district of Sofia (Bulgaria) in the past, where he assessed the living conditions as inhumane. “No one should live in these conditions in today’s Europe”, he declared.
Bulgaria is known for its long sandy Black Sea Coast, multicolored monasteries, footballer Hristo Stoichkov, poet Peyo Yavorov, etc. Georgi Parvanov is President and Boiko Borisov is Prime Minister of Bulgaria, which boasts of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.