Nevada (US), Dec 14 (ANI): Hindus and Jews are highly critical of Romania proposal of changing the term "Roma", currently used for its largest minority group, to "Tsigan".
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada today, said that this proposal appeared simply as an attempt to belittle the already most stigmatized community in Romania and Europe.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich pointed out that "Tsigan" was seen as disparaging and insulting by Roma communities. Before making such a change, Romania should consult Romanian Roma communities and European Roma organizations.
Meanwhile, leaders of Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) have also expressed concern on this issue. In a release in Washington DC (USA) on December 12, its Co-Chairman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) said, "The change of terms being considered seems to be really about stoking prejudice against Romania's largest and most persecuted minority."
Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich further said that Roma maltreatment in Europe was like an undeclared apartheid. Roma 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. (ANI)