[The couple has been quite open about their relationship, with Dabi sharing pictures of their time together in Netherlands and when with friends. (Photo: Tina Dabi Facebook page)]
Mumbai: They hit the headlines in May last year when Civil Services 2015 exam results were declared. About a year and half later they are again everywhere in the media - this time again for a pleasant reason.
Tina Dabi of New Delhi and Athar Aamir Khan of Jammu & Kashmir, who stood 1st and 2nd in the all India UPSC Civil Services 2015 ranking, are in love and they are soon to get 'engaged' and a fairytale like marriage to be followed later, according to media reports.
“We met in the morning, and by evening Aamir was at my door,” Tina Dabi is quoted as saying by The Times of India.
“Uske liye pehli nazar mein pyaar ho gaya (For him, it was love at first sight)", she added.
"I thank Aamir every day for his perseverance. He is a wonderful person,” Dabi says.
“We would be tying the knot very soon,” Dabi said.
“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,” Dabi said.
Dabi is a Hindu from the Dalit community, the lowest caste in India’s hierarchical structure. Athar Khan belongs to a Muslim family. Most followed IAS officers on social media, Tina and Aamir apparently began dating at the IAS training centre in Mussoorie and have decided to get married.
Dabi said their parents have accepted their relationship and were happy about her choice.
“As any freethinking independent woman I am entitled to certain choices. I am very happy with my choice and so is Aamir. Our parents are happy too. But there will always be those elements, that small minority who will always pass negative comments about dating someone from another religion", she said.
"It is just that 5%. The majority are very happy . You would have seen in my Facebook timeline that most of the comments are encouraging. In fact, I am overwhelmed by the support and congratulatory messages. I thought ‘yeh to achcha hai” (this is good.),’” she added.
The couple has been quite open about their relationship, with Dabi sharing pictures of their time together in Netherlands and when with friends. Ever since their relationship hits media headlines, their Facebook pages were flooded with comments and congratulatory messages after Dabi shared a photo of them together from Buxar with the title ‘In a Relationship with Athar Aamir Khan’ on November 9, Hindustan Times reported.
“God bless you guys. Proud of u Tina that you hv taken the decision that challenges the social nd cultural stereotypes. Wish you good luck to the journey of ‘Authentic life’,” wrote Aeon Abhineel, a Facebook user.
Though the talk of their relationship was not trending in Kashmir, there were words of encouragement from many Kashmiris.
“Cutest couple in India. Greetings and respect Tina jee from Kashmir. #Respect #Love #welcome,” wrote Umar Banday from Srinagar.
However, there were many bigoted views on social media owing to the caste and religion of the couple.
“Remember the Dalit girl that qualified in UPSC with reservations pushing a boy with better marks out for another year? #Shame,” Renuka Jain, a chartered accountant, wrote as she shared a picture of the couple.