190813 Eid Delhi Kashmir
A Muslim woman gets emotional as she celebrates Eid with Kashmiri students in New Dehli. Image Credit: PTI

Food and memories of Kashmir made the 18th century Indian observatory #JantarMantar in New Delhi the top trend on social media earlier today.

Hundreds gathered across the Indian capital to share an Eid Al Adha meal and #StandWithKashmiris.

News magazine India Today reported on its website: “…a group of Kashmiri Pandits in Delhi-NCR came together to host a lunch for Kashmiris and some others will be hosting a community event at Jantar Mantar.

Kashmir Eid Delhi 2
Author Arundhati Roy celebrates Eid with Kashmiri students who could not reach their families in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug 12, 2019. Image Credit: (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary

“The Valley still remains under a communication blackout with phone lines and mobile services suspended. Many non-resident Kashmiris trying to reach out to their families and relatives in the Valley to wish them on Eid have been unsuccessful. In order to show solidarity and celebrate Eid with Kashmiris who have been unable to go back to Kashmir or speak to their families, several groups in the national capital are organising events, potlucks and lunches to make them feel at home.

“One such event was organised by a group of Kashmiri Pandits in Gurugram on Monday afternoon.”

It’s been about 7 days since the Central government abolished Article 370 and placed the valley under lockdown, which has raised mixed reactions globally. But, today’s gatherings focused more on empathy and conversation, rather than a political protest. It was about giving people a sense of belonging.

Swara Bhasker‏ @ReallySwara posted early yesterday: “No one should feel alone and bereft on a day of festivity. Dilliwaalon... [people with heart] show these Kashmiri students some heart! Bring some khaanaa [food] and join! Tomorrow, 12th August 2019, 1:30pm onwards at #JantarMantar #Delhi #Eid”

Faiq Faizan, an organiser, was quoted by India Today: "We chose Jantar Mantar as the venue as it is all inclusive. We want everybody across ideologies to come and observe Eid with us. This is not a political event. We want to show solidarity with those who have families back home and also listen to their stories."

And it has proven to be an inclusive event as pictures posted on social media reveal.

There were also other individual invitations posted by people in an attempt to express their solidarity. But, a few also brought into focus the sadness surrounding the circumstances.

Murali Krishnan‏ @mkrish11 tweeted: ”#Eid protest and sharing at #JantarMantar where scores of #Kashmir students shared their experiences, strength and hope. Will there be light in the #kashmirvalley? God knows!”

Kashmir Eid Delhi 4
A Kashmiri woman consoles another who broke down as people gather for a function to observe Eid Al Adha in New Delhi Image Credit: AP Photo/Manish Swarup