Saturday, February 7, 2009


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Hindus and Jews have appealed the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to visit the savagely burnt Indian immigrant in a Rome hospital to send a strong message against the xenophobia.

Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada, also demanded adequate compensation by the Italian government for the victim Navtej Singh Sidhu who was reportedly brutally beaten, insulted and set on fire with petrol while asleep in Nettuno, south of Rome.

This Berlusconi visit would also show a sense of solidarity of Italian government with marginalized groups like immigrants, minorities, and Roma, who reportedly continually faced human rights violations in Italy, Zed and Rabbi Freirich argued.

The two religious leaders pointed out that Italy needed to do deep introspection of her heart and be kind to immigrants, minorities, and Roma people as xenophobic tendencies were not in tune with this great country of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tintoretto, Verdi, Fellini, and longstanding history and traditions of tolerance.

Rajan Zed, who is the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, further urged the Italian government to improve its human rights record and come up with a more compassionate immigration policy. The reportedly continual social discrimination and victimization of Roma should also be dealt with emergently and they should be treated humanely. Culture of exclusion, intolerance and rejection should come to a halt.

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