for ISKCON News on June 25, 2010
Hindus have applauded French actress Fanny Ardant (Ridicule) for defending Roma rights.
Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France) on June 22, Lumiere Award winner Ardant, 61, declared: "We say Dosta! (which means enough) To injustice, humiliation, ignorance and violation of human rights.” She further said that society had proved to be barbarian to Roma people.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Roma people were facing apartheid conditions in Europe and it was a wonderful gesture for Ardant to come out in their defense.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged other celebrities like Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Oscar nominated singer-musician Bono, Golden Globe winner entertainer Madonna (Evita), His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, etc., to undertake the cause of apartheid of about 15-million Roma people of Europe. Many Hollywood and other celebrities had successfully worked against South Africa’s apartheid in the past.
Alarming condition of Roma people was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc., Rajan Zed pointed out.
Zed further said that they had high hopes that world entertainment and other elite would not stay apathetic and silent spectator when fellow Roma brothers/sisters were reportedly facing blatant injustice and discrimination in Europe. Zed urged celebrities to immediately come out of their shells and show strong political will, courage, and commitment in support of Roma cause.