She fought the world to marry him, separated after arguably facing mental torture

A beautiful love story is on the verge of ending. IAS Tina Dabi, who topped the Union Public Service Commission examination (2015 batch), and husband, IAS Athar Khan, have decided to live apart. Two years after wedding, the celebrated civil servant couple has filed for divorce with mutual consent in a family court in Jaipur, according to reports.

IAS toppers Tina Dabi and Athar Khan, who tied the knot in Jaipur in March 2018, serve in the Rajasthan cadre. Athar, who hails from J&K, had secured the second position in the UPSC civil services exam in 2015, while Tina Dabi ranked first. Dabi and Khan, both from the Rajasthan cadre met during their training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration in Mussoorie and fell in love.

It was love at first sight for Athar at the DoPT event in May 2016. “We met in the morning, and by evening Aamir was at my door,” said Tina. She, however, took a few months to say yes. It was his perseverance and charming personality that attracted her to him, she said.

Both toppers had been dating each other for 3 years. They were quite open about it and never hid their relationship from people. Tina Dabi herself revealed the relationship by sharing a post on the Facebook page. She said that she was in a relationship with Athar. 

Hindu Mahasabha targeted IAS topper Tina Dabi over her decision to marry IAS Athar Aamir Khan calling it ‘Love Jihad’. She was trolled for her decision and allegations of ‘love jihad’ soon followed.

In a letter addressed to Tina’s father, Hindu Mahasabha’s national secretary Munna Kumar Sharma said that they should refrain from promoting ‘love jihad’. It went on to suggest that if the family wanted to go ahead with the wedding, they should persuade Athar to “re-convert” to Hindu religion. “Hindu Mahasabha will extend full support to the family in performing ghar wapsi of Athar Khan,” read the letter, which was published on the Mahasabha’s site.

Tina Dabi responded to this, stating that “I am an independent woman and very happy with Aamir. Our parents are also happy, but there are always some people, who make negative comments against people of other religions. Such people are only 5 percent and most of the people are happy with this decision”.

However, the strain in their relationship came some time ago after which Tina Dabi removed ‘Khan’ from her social media accounts. On the other hand, Athar unfollowing Tina on Instagram around the same time strengthened the rumours of estrangement between the couple.

Nevertheless, their marriage was amongst the most celebrated events on social media, with several prominent individuals putting out celebratory tweets, congratulating the duo for their wedding back in 2018.

The marriage of Tina and Athar was used by politicians and journalists to bolster the ‘communal harmony’ trope. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, posted a congratulatory tweet: “May your love grow from strength to strength and may you be an inspiration to all Indians in this age of growing intolerance and communal hatred. God bless you.”

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.