Hindus have blamed “Channel 4” of United Kingdom for acting highly irresponsibly in its smash hit documentary series “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings”, which they say resulted in adding more misery to the lives of already maltreated European Gypsy (Roma) community.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that in case of “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings”, “Channel 4” appeared to have even violated its own Corporate Responsibility statement which clearly aimed at promoting “responsible behavior”.
A recently released report by education expert reportedly revealed that this series had led to physical and sexual assault, racist abuse, misinformation and hostile questioning; harmed children’s self-esteem and increased bullying and negative stereotyping of Gypsies; causing real long-term harm and even withdrawal of children from school.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and who frequently takes up European Roma causes, argued that instead of tackling more serious issues facing Gypsy community, the show appeared to be laughing at them and was simply sensationalism, exaggeration and misrepresentation aiming at higher ratings and mercantile greed.
Rajan Zed argued that the role of a “public service broadcaster” like “Channel 4” should be helping to build the community and not to further harm the already most persecuted section of the community. It should scrap its reported plans of broadcasting any specials of “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings” in the future, Zed added.
Zed pointed out that television was a powerful medium and it could have been used in a more positive and educative way voicing European Roma apartheid.
Rajan Zed stated that apartheid conditions faced by Roma people were a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.
Zed noted that it was shocking to see how inhumanely Europe had been treating its about 15-million Roma brothers-sisters for such a long period.
“Channel 4” calls this highly rated show: “Revealing documentary series that offers a window into the secretive, extravagant and surprising world of gypsies…”.
Headquartered in London with a regional office in Glasgow, “Channel 4” is a publicly-owned, commercially-funded public service broadcaster which works across television, film and digital media. Lord Burns and Lord Hall are Chairman and Deputy Chairman of its Board respectively and David Abraham is Chief Executive.