Ria Dabi, a 23-year-old woman, secured rank 15 in the civil services examinations yesterday. That’s quite a prolific achievement, and one would expect media coverage in such an event.

However, it’s the way coverage is being carried out that is the problem. First of all, there isn’t a single interview that does not mention her sister Tina Dabi, who also cleared the exam and is an IAS officer now.

And by “mention”, I mean, “Hum aapko leke aayein hain Tina Dabi ke ghar magar baat karenge Ria Dabi se“. 


These are the words of an ABP new anchor, who proceeds to ask her, “Aap khush hain?“, and then:

Jab aapki didi yahan rehti thi, toh kya aap log saath mein padhte the? Kya woh aapko padhati thi?

To which Ria said no, and went on to explain the concept of age difference resulting in the vastly non-identical syllabus. This was really funny to me. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t all. People have been asking her other weird questions like if she will make another attempt to improve her rank. Because obviously, rank 15 isn’t going to get her whatever she chooses to pursue. 

The issue isn’t that they mention her sister, the issue is the obsession and choosing what narrative to paint according to one’s convenience. We all know the kind of hate Tina has received in the recent past for something very personal, and we also know not many people spoke against it.

Our achievers deserve better treatment than this – and they definitely deserve to be asked better questions.