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.
One TV anchor just asked Riya Dabi (AIR 15) whether she is thinking of improving her UPSC rank in another attempt.— Somesh Upadhyay, IAS (@Somesh_IAS) September 24, 2021
Kal toh ek @aajtak ke reporter ne ye bhi puch liya thaa ki what is your optional in prelims. The problem with few so called reporters is that they knew nothing except handling Mike & asking useless questions. Anyways, pta nhi kha se itna confidence laate hai.— Vansheedhar Sharma🇮🇳 (@Vanshee_kns) September 25, 2021
Exactly! Plus, the reporter also asked, if she is feeling bad that her sister got better rank than her— Jayant kumar (@k_jayantsharma) September 24, 2021
People take reattempts for rank improvement so that they can get the service they want.— Vaibhav Singh (@vaibhav330) September 24, 2021
The TV anchor should be asked if she can tell which service will not be available at rank 15.
This is the state of our journalism sector. https://t.co/3hNBzfzwRS— pinch of salt (@prachi_mech) September 25, 2021
we’ve such anchors in India🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/7y2WnCx2Nm pic.twitter.com/N4f9mJxT6W— Kiran (@tweetsbyhk) September 25, 2021
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.