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Hindus irked over anti-Gypsy texbook

Hindus want immediate withdrawal of Cítanka, a primary school textbook of Czech Republic, which reportedly stereotypes Roma (Gypsies) and is offensive.

books Updated: Nov 10, 2011 07:12 IST

Hindus want immediate withdrawal of a primary school textbook of Czech Republic, which reportedly stereotypes Roma (Gypsies) and is offensive.

Current edition of Cítanka, a textbook for second-year Czech primary school students, reportedly stereotyped Roma as ‘dirty, thieving Gypsies’.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that the reported labeling of Roma as ‘dirty, thieving Gypsies’ was clearly a case of racial stereotyping and was not acceptable.

Mother telling her child—that Gypsies stink and steal and the child should not play with Gypsy boys—in a primary school textbook would send wrong signals to the children’s minds at an impressionable age, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed.

Rajan Zed urged that in future the material of all school textbooks in Czech Republic should be pre-screened and monitored before publishing to make sure that Roma minority was not stereotyped. Moreover, some books in the Rainbow School project in primary schools in Moravian-Silesian region also reportedly contained anti-Roma material bordering on racism and should be immediately replaced.

Zed argued that Roma people in Czech Republic reportedly faced violent attacks, stereotyping, racism, prejudice, growing gap between Roma and other Czechs, fear, beatings, poor quality housing, systemic employment and overall discrimination, persecution, throwing of Molotov cocktails, social exclusion, segregated schools, forced sterilization,  marginalization; refused service at restaurants, stores, discos, etc.; municipalities/towns failing to support them; and the state being unwilling or unable to offer protection.

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