IAS toppers Tina Dabi and husband Athar Khan have filed for divorce in a family court with mutual consent.
Dabi had topped the 2015 Union Public Service Commission examination while Khan, who hails from Kashmir, had secured second position.
Their 2018 marriage had caught national attention, with many politicians and media organisations touting the wedding as a symbol of inter-faith harmony.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi was one among them. Congratulating the couple, he tweeted a subtle message understating the fears surrounding a marriage between a Hindu girl and Muslim boy. He also used it to criticise the government for “growing intolerance” and “communal hatred”.
On the other side, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha got vexed with the development. The right-wing outfit had termed Dabi’s decision to marry Khan as “love jihad” and even offered her family help for Khan’s “reconversion” or “ghar-wapasi”.
Strain in their relationship came to the fore some time back with Dabi removing “Khan” from her social media handles. Her husband also unfollowed her from Instagram around the same time, strengthening rumours that all was not well in their marriage.
Netizens reacted strongly to the development, with #lovejihad, #tinadabi and #atharkhan trending on Twitter.
What’s surprising is that people who glorified the inter-religious marriage to brush aside rumours of “love jihad” are now calling the divorce a private matter that shouldn’t be publicised.
They want to paint a rosy picture saying everything is hunky-dory in such marriages but they want to brush under the carpet the reality that follows such union.