Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — “We are not here to celebrate Eid festivities’ but to observe Eid as we are unable to contact to our families in Jammu and Kashmir since August 4 and don’t know what is happening there,” said a group of young Kashmiri students at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
A large number of Kashmiri students ‘observed’ Eid-ul-Adha at Jantar Mantar, near the Indian Parliament on Monday in protest against unilateral of stripping of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and total lockdown in the state.
In solidarity with the Kashmiri students, a large number of non-Kashmiri people from across all religions also gathered here and shared their grief and sorrow.
“We have food over here (Jantar Mantra) but we don’t have our loved ones! We have no news of them, it would be really great if we could just talk to our loved ones,” Faiq Faizan said while speaking to Caravan Daily who was one of the organiser of the protest event.
When asked for how many days are you in without contact with family, Faizan said for seven days. To a question about the revocation of Article 370, he said he was not authorized to speak on the matter.
“I am nobody to speak on the revocation of Article 370; my only concern is that I want to talk my family in Kashmir”.
“The idea is to not just share our little food, but also memories,” said Shariqa Amin, another organizer of the event.
“When we are away from family and unable to get in touch, celebrating Eid gets a little difficult as we are simply observing it,” she added.
She also underlined the fact that the Kashmiri students are observing Eid at Jantar Mantar and not in their homes with families is a unique event and Kashmiris living away from home, students, professionals, etc, would find some solace in this event.
Maroosha Muzaffar said that: “it doesn’t feel like Eid. There are no messages from home, no calls. There is nothing Mubarak about today.” She said she last talked to her family on August 4, a day before the Indian Home Minister tabled the Jammu and Kashmir bills.
“In case you forgot, there are Kashmiris still unable to contact their families in Kashmir. I’m one of them. My last conversation with them was on Aug 4th,” she added.
The objective of this public gathering is to bring about a sense of community as it feels like everybody else has deserted us, she said.
Another Kashmiri student pooh-poohed the Home Minister’s argument of developing Kashmir saying Kashmir is far ahead of Gujarat in the human development index.
The Kashmir Valley still remains under unprecedented lockdown and under a communication blackout with phone lines and mobile services suspended and its many natives scattered in different parts of the country observed a gloomy Eid on Monday. There are more than 3,000 students from Kashmir studying in Delhi.
Posters for the event were circulated on social media, and people like Harsh Mandar and his family, Shabnam Hashmi, Gauhar Raza, Prof Apoorvanand, Dr T A Rahmani and others showed their solidarity with Kashmiri students by joining the event.
We came here to express our solidarity with people of the Jammu and Kashmir on Eid as Kashmiri students invited us, said Apoorvanand while speaking to Caravan Daily. He said the government took this decision on the eve of Eid deliberately to send a message that it does not care sentiments of people of Kashmir.
“jis taraha sey band kar diya gaya hai aur ye eid ke moukhey par kiya gaya hai, kyon ki 5 Aug 6 Aug ko aisa faisla karte waqt sarkar ko pata thaa. Too ye jante hoey Muslamanu ke do bade tehwar hai —— dusre ke yeh ek message he ke hum aap ke feeling se zaaraa bhi parwah nhi krte aur hum aapke baghair decision le sakte he.”
(This decision (revocation of special status) was taken deliberately by the government on the eve of the Eid as it wanted the convey the message to Kashmiri Muslims that the government does not respect and care their sentiments and feelings and will decide their fate without consulting them”).
“It is an opportunity for Hindus to show that they also believe in humanity and justice”, he said.
“hum sirf yeh kahna chahtey hain key yeah maana bada muskhil hai key saare key saare Hindu, government key saath hain; Hindu bhee insaaaf pasand hain aur Hindu mein manavta (humanity) zindaa hai, yeh mauka hai use sabit karne kaa.”
It is not true that all Hindus are with the government on this matter (J&K), there are justice-loving people in Hindus also and it is an opportunity for them to prove it”.