STUDENT MEHAK ASHRAF is pursuing her Bachelors in Arts from Srinagar's Women's College. In Indian-held Kashmir, Student Mehak Ashraf has turned into an Icon.

She has become a young voice for people's struggles and for political consciousness in the Valley.

SRINAGAR : With her hair tightly tucked in a pony and clad in a loose, long denim shirt, Mehak Ashraf from [India-held] Kashmir comes across as just any other girl from Srinagar.

However, in the twinkle of an eye, an expression of utmost concentration appears on her face, as she transforms into a confident rapper, and sings.

Mehmood-ul-Hassan whose two sons were killed

On spot, it is full of oppression

Cries mother, father and sister, they are living in oppression.

There lived ones are no more, now they're living in depression.

IN KASHMIR, it is a policy of alienation and deprivation. 

Mehak is not a seasoned voice, but is only 19, and articulates the suppressed feelings of the next generation, that feels itself isolated and alienated from the mainstream.

Mehak is known as [India-held] Kashmir's first female rapper, a voice for the people's struggles and political consciousness in a valley that has been torn by turmoil for the past three decades. 

Mehak's songs are full of anguish and despair that the gen-next of Kashmior feels about the unabated violence and killings of Kashmiris.

I'm from Kashmir, they take us for a fun I saw a big killer with a gun

Saw my friends body in a slum

i miss him, i need him, I love him.

I'm sorry, I miss Tasleem.

Glad his death wasn't glorified on film

My valley smells like death alley

Death angel aiming at another individual 

Darkness mess up any individuals visual.

She has emerged in a nascent hip-hop scene in [India-held] Kashmir, where so far only male musicians have garnered a following. Over the years, rappers such as MC Kash, Ahmer Javed and Muazzam Bhat have garnered a following, while singers such as -

Ali Saifffudin and Zeeshan Nabi are feted and idolised. To break into this male bastion has been far from easy, but Mehak has taken it all in her stride and continued to sing on.

Her young audience appreciates her and that fires her up, She makes her on video in a very creative way.

Hailing from the old city of Srinagar's Hazrathal area, the teenager popularly known by her stage name Menime.

Her tryst with rap began in 2016, when the political unrest over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani ensued in the valley.

''I was in class IX at that time. Due to the situation, the schools had been shut for for six months. It was during those endless days of curfew and strike., I happened to come across the songs of Eminem.'' Her rapper name - Menime - is her idol's name in reverse.

Besides, she is also inspired by the music of other artists such as Nicki Minaj, Drake and 50 Cent.

The World Students Society thanks author Hirra Azmat.


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