Roma people and their Indian connection

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Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada

The recently concluded International Roma Conference in New Delhi brought into focus about the Roma and how India is even connected to this issue.

There are more than 11 million people who are called Roma or Romanis or even Gypsies. They live in various parts of Europe, mainly concentrated along the Balkan peninsula (example: Romania, Bulgaria), Russia, Eastern parts of Turkey and as far as Brazil and USA. The name Gypsy derived from the assumption that these people originate from Egypt, which is obviously not true.

The name Gypsy derived from the assumption that these people originate from Egypt, which is obviously not true.

Roma people are nomads who migrated to the West from India around the 11th century and their language has a strong mix of many Hindi words. Scholars believe Romas mainly originated from Rajasthan and Punjab areas, from tribes like Banjara, Dom, Chauhan, Gujjar, Sansi, etc.

Even though Romanis have now adapted to predominant religions of the places where they live around, yet they proudly exhibit their ancestry to India.

Roma people are typically a discriminated tribe, struggling with poverty and lack of education. The local governments have not made many efforts to settle them and integrate them in the society.

In the conference, Romanis made a passionate appeal for inclusion in Indian diaspora and strengthening the Indian ties. The Government of India has so far paid lip service to their aspirations and needs.

It is high time that Prime Minister Modi takes up the issue of Roman people with the various the European Union and elsewhere so that there is a pro-active approach to give them their due place in the society. Romanis need access to housing, education, and employment.

It is high time that when the Europe is opening its arms to Syrian refugees, it also gives due credit to its displaced and neglected Romanis within their lands.

Some other articles that have been published at NewsGram on this issue are given below.
Also read: http://www.newsgram.com/taking-forward-their-indian-ancestry-hindi-words-touch-roma-dialect/

Also read: http://www.newsgram.com/we-romas-would-like-to-be-treated-as-indian-diaspora/
Dr. raizada is the Chief editor at NewsGram. Twitter:@drmunishraizada

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