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‘You are the children of India’: Sushma Swaraj to Romas

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India

New Delhi: In a display of belongingness towards the Roma community, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday that Romas spread across the world are the children of India.

“You are the children of India who migrated and lived in challenging circumstances in foreign lands for centuries. Yet you maintained your Indian identity,” Sushma Swaraj said while inaugurating the three-day International Roma Conference and Cultural Festival 2016 here.

“A strong 20 million Roma population is spread over 30 countries encompassing West Asia, Europe, America and Australia,” she said.

Romas are said to be descendants of groups in India like Dom, Banjara, Gujjar, Sansi, Chauhan, Sikligar, Dhangar and other nomadic groups from northwest India.

They are known variously as “Zigeuner” in Germany, “Tsyiganes” or “Manus” in France, “Tatara” in Sweden, “Gitano” in Spain, and “Tshingan” in Turkey and Greece, “Tsigan” in Russia, Bulgaria and Romania and “Gypsies” in Britain.

Lauding the community, Sushma Swaraj said that the Romas were “the perfect example of peaceful co-existence in multicultural societies”.

“In fact, they are perfect flag-bearers of Indian ethos and we are proud of it,” she said.

Stating that there was credible evidence which indicated the migration of Roma community from India towards the west in the fifth century, the minister said: “We Indians are proud of the progress and name that the Roma community has made for itself at the local and international level. More significantly so, because the process of adaptation, diffusion and progress were based on Indian value systems of peaceful co-existence, respecting other cultures and contributing towards growth. Roma maintained Indian traditions in the countries that were unaware of India, and its culture and traditions and thereby maintained Indian identity.”

Sushma Swaraj also congratulated all those scholars who have re-written the forgotten history of the Roma community and its links with India.

“This needs to be further augmented with continued efforts and in-depth research. Precious heritage of Roma community and its relations with India needs to be carefully preserved and documented,” she said.

Thirty-three scholars and 12 cultural performers from 12 countries apart from 15 Indian scholars are attending the three-day event that is being organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad (ARSP)-Bharat.

ICCR Director General C Rajasekhar also highlighted the contributions of the Roma community in first world countries.

“In Romania and Bulgaria, Roma community forms 12 percent of their total population. In Turkey, they have a population of 2.75 million while they have a significance presence in Russia, Slovakia, Hungry, Serbia, Spain and France. They have kept the Indian spirit alive at all these places despite adverse circumstances,” Rajasekhar said.

ICCR President Lokesh Chandra claimed that the Roma community made an immense contribution to building London which is counted among the most developed and amazingly planned modern cities.

“Romas have been a community of craftsmen. They have been ironsmiths, coppersmiths who were living on the outskirts of the habitations,” he said.

“They made weapons for the state of Hungary in the 15th century during the reign of King Ulaszlo II and were close to royalty in those times. They were also primary contributors to building the topmost cities of the world,” he added. (IANS)

  • Kallol Guha Phd

    Whoever might have written the article on ROMA should know that these communities are all over Europe. I have met them in Denmark, and Sweden. A larger community of these nomads or gypsies live in Finland where I interacted with them rater closely. Finns call them MUSTALINEN or BLACK PEOPLE. They are secluded from the main population and live isolated life. Local people are made to believe they are alcoholic, lazy, collect social security at the expense of the generosity of the local population. Presence of gypsies in a public place is generally avoided by locals who are conditioned to believe that they are violent by nature and more prone to theft. They are discriminated in jobs, housing like the blacks in USA. Any individual or a community when reduced to their minimum existence by whatever means and see no avenue for getting over their plight – they resort to various vices as an escape from frustration. Hence many of them suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. Europeans claim that they are of Indian origin and thus shows a clear tendency to brand Indians with similar vices. European mainstream, media does everything necessary to brand these minority as inferior race of Indian origin to reinforce white supremacy in the mind of their own population. India over the last 65 years has done nothing to address this issue. After all Anglophonic Indian education system itself is designed to strip people of all sense of self respect so that Indians may feel proud to imitate the West and discard all that is indigenous. Hopefully the present Government will take note of these gypsies and arouse sense of self respect at home before anything effective can be done to the diaspora.

  • Kallol Guha Phd

    Whoever might have written the article on ROMA should know that these communities are all over Europe. I have met them in Denmark, and Sweden. A larger community of these nomads or gypsies live in Finland where I interacted with them rater closely. Finns call them MUSTALINEN or BLACK PEOPLE. They are secluded from the main population and live isolated life. Local people are made to believe they are alcoholic, lazy, collect social security at the expense of the generosity of the local population. Presence of gypsies in a public place is generally avoided by locals who are conditioned to believe that they are violent by nature and more prone to theft. They are discriminated in jobs, housing like the blacks in USA. Any individual or a community when reduced to their minimum existence by whatever means and see no avenue for getting over their plight – they resort to various vices as an escape from frustration. Hence many of them suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. Europeans claim that they are of Indian origin and thus shows a clear tendency to brand Indians with similar vices. European mainstream, media does everything necessary to brand these minority as inferior race of Indian origin to reinforce white supremacy in the mind of their own population. India over the last 65 years has done nothing to address this issue. After all Anglophonic Indian education system itself is designed to strip people of all sense of self respect so that Indians may feel proud to imitate the West and discard all that is indigenous. Hopefully the present Government will take note of these gypsies and arouse sense of self respect at home before anything effective can be done to the diaspora.

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India’s Diwali Promise, Medical Visas to All Deserving

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Shushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj. IANS

New Delhi, October 19: Marking the auspicious occasion of Diwali, India on Thursday made a Diwali promise medical visas all those people abroad, including in Pakistan, seeking treatment.

“On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, India will grant a medical visa in all deserving cases pending today,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

Keeping to a promise made on Independence Day, India on Wednesday issued six more medical visas to Pakistani nationals, including three children.

“We will issue visa to facilitate treatment of your eight-year-old child in India,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday night in response to a request from Nazir Ahmed who said that his son Mohammad Ahmed was awaiting a medical visa from India for one year.

In a separate tweet, she also promised a visa to Muhammad Asif Malik’s son, who is currently in an intensive care unit (ICU) in children’s hospital in Lahore, and to Kasif Chacha’s child who is running out of medicine.

Visas were also issued to Irfan Ahmed Shaikh, Nasir Mahmood and the mother of Rafique Menon for liver surgeries.

This month, Sushma Swaraj has announced the issuance of 19 medical visas to Pakistanis for treatment in India as Diwali promise.

Last month, India issued a medical visa to a Pakistani child seeking open heart surgery.

On Independence Day, the External Affairs Ministry made a Diwali promise that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.

As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.

The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.

However, on July 18, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for a liver tumor, got a visa.

Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.

Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.(IANS)

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Sushma Swaraj at UN: After 70 years, India IT superpower, Pakistan is terror export factory

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Sushma Swaraj at the UN general Assembly
Sushma Swaraj at UN general Assembly

United Nations, Sep 23: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Saturday, launched a stinging attack against Pakistan at the UN General Assembly. She said that in the 70 years of the independence, India had grown as an IT superpower, while Pakistan has emerged as a pre-eminent factory for the export of terror.

“We are fighting poverty. But our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us,” she said in her address to the United Nations General Assembly and responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi’s allegations that India was sponsoring terrorism.

She threw a taunt at the Pakistan Prime Minister while referring to his accusations that India was violating human rights in Jammu and Kashmir: “Those listening to him (Abbasi) had only one observation: ‘Look who is talking’.”

“A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.

“I would like today to tell Pakistan’s politicians just this much, that perhaps the wisest thing they could do is to look within. India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that India today is a recognised IT superpower in the world and Pakistan recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror.”?

She said while India fought terrorism exported by Pakistan it did not neglect development work at home.

“We created IITs, IIMs, AIIMS while Pakistan created LeT, Haqqanis, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen,” she said, referring to Pakistan-based terror groups.

Sushma Swaraj asked the UN not to see terrorism with “self-defeating and indeed meaningless nuance”.

(IANS)

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Delhi to witness three-day International Jazz Festival

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Gibraltar International Jazz Festival 2013
Jools Holland performing at the second Gibraltar International Jazz Festival held at the Queen's Cinema in October 2013. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 16, 2017: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is organising a three-day international jazz festival that will witness the convergence of French, Israeli, Korean, Mexican and Spanish artists in Delhi.

The September 23-25 gala at Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri “will feature performances of seven international and three Indian jazz groups”, ICCR Director General Riva Ganguly Das said here on Friday.

“ICCR believes that music can play a key role in engaging in creative dialogue with other nations. Festivals like these help us in understanding cultures of other countries and also gives opportunity to our own people to interact with world class performers,” she said. (IANS)