Hindus say that recently released 23rd edition of prestigious Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary of the Spanish Language reportedly labeling gypsies as liars and cheats is appalling. Hindu religious statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that branding the entire community of about 15-million gypsies as liars and cheats was racism and highly prejudicial and such attitudes should have no place in 21st century Europe.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that Academy should offer public apology over this issue; and recall all the printed, electronic and digital copies of the dictionary and come out with a revised version.
Describing “gypsy” as synonymous with cheating and lying was highly hurtful, offensive and damaging to gypsy communities who had been in Europe since ninth century CE, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Zed urged His Majesty the King Felipe VI and Her Majesty the Queen Letizia of Spain not to associate with such an Academy which was attempting to legitimize stereotypes and marginalize an already highly persecuted community in Europe through its dictionary.
Rajan Zed urged Pope Francis to come out strongly against this belittling of the entire community of gypsies as one of the main purposes of religion was to help the helpless. European Union should also intervene, Zed added.
Renowned Royal Spanish Academy (Real Academia Espanola), headquartered in Madrid, is considered to be the ultimate authority on Spanish in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. Jose Manuel Blecua is the Director. This reference work of the Academy is said to be already in the bookstores in Spain and other countries.