Few people know that Nicolae Gheorghe was in India on April 8, 2001. The decisions he took then on behalf of 20 million Roma worldwide are the same as those that India accepted in 2016 regarding the Roma.
Nicolae Gheorghe, the man who said that he wanted to die as a Ţigan, not as a Rom (1), the man who did not know the most elementary facts about the kinship terms of the Roma in relation to non-Roma, went to India in 2001, when he gave an interview which can be found on Youtube, an interview in which he demonstrates total ignorance of Romani culture in regard to its interaction with the non-Roma world. He said in the interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyjRVTllUdc
) that the Roma start by thoroughly deceiving any non-Rom, then become friends. Imagine what he told the Indians at the Roma Research Foundation, the Indian NGO to which he was invited.
The fact that he was in India is proved by credible Indian sources: the book by Indian writer Shyam Singh Shashi, head of the NGO, Roma Research Foundation, in Delhi, and in an online article (2).
We present here the extracts from Shyam Singh Shashi's book (3) on the presence of Nicolae Gheorghe in India. In Shyam Singh Shashi's book, Nicolae Gheorghe's name is again wrongly written, as Nikole Gherorghe, but it is certain that Nicolae Gheorghe was in India because on the Facebook page of the Indian NGO, Roma Research Foundation (4), Nicolae Gheorghe is pictured with Shyam Singh Shashi; that picture is also the main icon of this article.
Here's what Nicolae Gheorghe decided on behalf of over 20 million Roma:
“The two-day conference on Roma culture and heritage was organized by HHP in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India, the Modi Foundation, with active support from the Roma Research Foundation, the International Research Foundation of Delhi, the Intercontinental Cultural Center, Chandigarh, and other organisations. The venue for the event was the National Museum in New Delhi on April 8-9, 2001. The eminent Hindu cultural leader, Mr. Ashok Singhal, opened the conference on April 8th, which is the Roma Nation's Flag Day, celebrated throughout the world. He was of the opinion that the Roma should be treated as Indian foreign emigrants. He shared his opinion with Roma leaders that they would be recognized as nations and that they would be represented in the United Nations. The Secretary-General Dr. I. Hristo Kyuchukov, Nikile Gherorghe, Dr. Vaia Kochanawaski, Mrs. Anisa Agnes and others took part in the discussion. Dr. Lokesh Chandra presented the work on Roma culture and heritage, and Prof. Som Dixit spoke about Hinduism and Roma culture. Mr. J. S. Pathania and Lilyana interpreted the speeches into the Romani language. Dr. B. K. Modi, President of HHP, was of the opinion that there are many tribal...”
Resolutions – The resolutions were drafted by Nikole Gherorghe in consultation with the International President and Secretary General of International Romani Union.
1. Roma preserved Indian ancient culture. They ahd Hindu roots and strong affiliation with India. They contributed precious Indian elements to the world but suffered a lot in various countries, They should be recognised by Govt. Of India as ancient Indian emigrants of Mauritius, Surinam and Fiji, etc.
2. Roma should be allowed to associate with GOPIO and considered as PIO to participate in the Indian funded projects addressed to the Indian Diaspora.
3. Govt. Of India should help in translation, teaching and propagating Romani language, viz Hindi, Punjabi, Rajahstani, Gujarati and Marathi. Knowledge about Roma roots in India and the rich Roma cultural heritage should be included in the text books of India and the countries in which Roma reside. Ministry of Education may like to use distance education system in this regard and other techniques of education through correspondence method.
4. There should be books and literature of Indian culture in Romani language also. Minsitry of Human Resources Development may take up this issue with the Govt. Of those countries where Roma reside in big number.
5. India Houses may be set up in the respective countries well equipped with documentation and cultural facilities to get people conversant with Indian culture. Later, these India houses can be set up in each district.
6. To implement the resolution passed, a Task Force should be constituted immedeiately for which devoted scholars should be nominated by IRU. In his connection, Minister of Human Resources Development Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi has asked the Indian scholars and Romanologist Dr. Shyam Singh Shashi and Shri B. U. Naik to prepare the draft proposal and line of action to prepare the draft proposal and line of action of HHP in consultation with Ministry of Tourism and ulture. PM Office may be convened during OSCE
7. International Conference on Roma to be organised by the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs of Romani on 10-13 September 2001
8. International NGOS AND Roma representative in cooperation with Indian delegates (Govt. And NGOs) should coordinate, to fight against racism and discrimination in the UN world conference to be held in Durban, South Africa on 28th August 2001.
9. An International public fund is to be established for development and promotion of the Universal Rights of Roma people of the world. The fund should be used by Roma people themesleves
10. Indian Govt. Should help to protect the interest of the Roma people in UNO.
For comparison, here is what was discussed last year, 2016, at a conference held in India:
1. People to people contact between India and Romani people should be encouraged.
2. The cultural recognition of Romani people is of utmost importance for strengthening bonds with Roma
3. There is a need to set up a cell in the Ministry of External Affairs to study and research about origin of Roma people and examine what status can be accorded to the Roma people by India.
4. Roma around the world should be encouraged to increase their representation in parliamentary and legislative bodies of their respective countries.
5. The language of the Roma people should be researched in order to find their roots and heritage in India and Indian students in schools should be taught history of the Roma people and their migration.
6. Romani language should be taught in Indian school and universities as a recognized foreign language. Romani-Hindi dictionary be prepared by the HRD Ministry of the Govt. of India.
7. An International cultural festival of Roma should be held in India every two years on the pattern of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The first event can take place at Chittor Fort in Rajasthan.
8. A Roma Research Centre should be set up in India, preferably at NGO level and such NGO should get an observer status at the ROMNIPEN and work for skill and educational development of Romani community.
9. For economic upliftment of Romani people, appropriate national and international agencies should make provisions for providing micro finance facility to young Roma entrepreneurs.
10. Economic relations between India and Romani people should be encouraged. Romani people should be invited to contribute and be a part of India’s development process in a mutually beneficial manner.
11. Human rights organisations of India should take up the issues of violation of human rights of Romani people with all national and international agencies.
1-ROM SAU ŢIGAN
Dilemele unui etnonim în spaţiul românesc,
Editura Institutului pentru Studierea Problemelor Minorităţilor Naţionale, Cluj-Napoca, 2012.
Nicolae Gheorghe: "Dacă o să mor, dacă dialoghez cu moartea constant, AŞ VREA SĂ MOR, CA OM, SAU CA ŢIGAN, dar n-o să pot să mor ca rom."- "If i die, if i am talking with the death, i want to die, as a man, or as a TSIGAN, but i will not die as a Rom." Rom sau Tigan, pag 328 .
Pramod Kumar wrote an article in www.hvk.org, called Forgotten Children of Mother India, in which the name of Nicolae Gheorghe was written incorrectly as Nilole Gheorghe, advisor on Roma from Poland.
3 The World of Nomads by Shyam Singh Shashi
3 The World of Nomads De Shyam Singh Shashi
Translated by Dr. Natalia Ivend