Srinagar, Apr 9: Tina Dabi, who clinched the top position in the Union Public Service Commission examination in 2015, tied the knot with Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, who ranked second in the same exam. The IAS couple chose picturesque locale of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pahalgam to solemnise their relationship. While Dabi belongs to Delhi, Khan is from Jammu and Kashmir. The love story of the young IAS toppers has all the elements of a masala Bollywood film.
Tina Dabi, a Dalit, met Athar Amar-ul Shafi Khan for the first time at the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) office in North Block for a felicitation function on May 11, 2015, and fell in love with each other. “It was a love-at-first-sight,” the IAS topper had once said. “We met in the morning and by evening Aamir was at my door,” she had recalled. Dabi was floored with Khan’s wit and charm. Since then, the duo has been very open about their relationship.
While many celebrated the young IAS couple’s courage to go for an inter-religion marriage, a right-wing outfit, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, tried to stop their marriage, calling it a case of ‘Love Jihad’, an alleged trend of Muslim boys tricking non-Muslim girls into marriage. The outfit wrote a letter to Dabi’s parents, saying their daughter’s decision to marry Khan amounted to ‘Love Jihad’.
In the letter, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha stated that while they are proud of Tina Dabi’s achievements in topping the IAS examination, her decision to marry Athar Amar-ul Shafi Khan was “painful.” However, this couldn’t stop the IAS couple and their parents. Dabi’s parents ignored all the so-called ‘objections’ and arrived in Pahalgam on Friday for the wedding ceremony. After the wedding ceremony, the couple drove to Devepora Mattan – Khan’s ancestral village in South Kashmir’s Anantnag.
Dabi had also said that she wasn’t overly bothered about what people thought of their inter-religion love. “We are in love and very happy. But I must admit that I get very disturbed when I read stuff about us. We have stopped googling our names and reading news about ourselves. I think it is a small price to pay for being in the public eye,” the IAS topper was quoted as saying.