Hindus and Jews have strongly criticized an election advertisement in Hungary reportedly referring to “Gypsy criminals”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA, in a joint statement in Nevada today, said that it was clearly offensive and stigmatized an entire ethnic community.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich, further said that European Union should urgently intervene and stop the further harassment and maltreatment of Roma (Gypsies) who were already facing apartheid conditions in Hungary and other parts of Europe.
Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich argued that in Hungary, despite various government initiatives, Roma reportedly continued to face blatant discrimination, shanty town living, an atmosphere of hostility, huge unemployment rate, lower life expectancy, prejudice, significantly higher school dropout rate, racism, bias and stereotyping, school segregation, social exclusion, mistrust, human rights violations, etc. According to an estimate, less than 1% of Roma obtained higher education degrees.
Zed and Freirich pointed out that instead of reportedly continuing to marginalize Roma socially, this country of Lake Balaton, romantic Danube River, Franz Liszt and Bela Bartok, should be more embracing of Roma brothers and sisters who had been reportedly living with them since 14th century. Hungarian government should be more proactive in protecting Roma and other minorities. Rajan Zed and Rabbi Freirich urged religious leaders, religions and denominations of Hungary to work for the upliftment of Roma, because religion told us to help the helpless.
Roma in Hungary, whose estimated numbers sometimes reach around one million, form about ten percent of total Hungary populace, which makes it largest Roma minority as percentage of total population in the world. Current demographic trends indicate that in 2050, about 21 percentage of Hungary population will be Roma.
Hungary is reportedly holding municipal elections on Sunday.