Updated: May 17, 2016 6:30:01 am
It was a WhatsApp message Monday morning that alerted Tina Dabi about the existence of more than 35 fake pages and profiles under her name on Facebook. Each had photos of the 22-year-old UPSC exam topper posing with her parents or with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, or giving an interview to a news channel. They also had quotes that were falsely attributed to her.
One status on a fake profile said, “Dear obstacle, I will destroy you…”, while on another, a user posing as Dabi tells her 465 followers, “May the god gives endurance and encouragement to all the human beings so that they can live joyful life”.
A distressed Dabi says over the phone, “It’s very creepy. I never said these things about hard work or dedication. These profiles are quoting someone else and attributing it to me. In future, they may do something worse.”
Of the many “quotes” circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook attributed to Dabi is one that involves Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dr B R Ambedkar.
“…I know who has been inspiring me and he our P.M. Narendra Modi. Am I compelled to admit Ambedkar ji as my idol just because I belong to S.C. category? Why this ‘Jai Bhim’ comments everywhere? I am a great admirer of Baba Saheb. What he had done for the backward categories is laudable. He had worked towards the upliftment of the dalits but he had never supported ‘reservation’. The system of reservation was in our constitution for very short period but the politicians are using it as a tool for their vote banks”, says the statement. Dabi is the first Dalit girl to top the UPSC examination.
She says, “There is a dispute between who I idolise. During all my interviews, I said it’s a deeply personal question and I maintain that I have great regard for both these personalities but I did not make that statement.”
On Monday afternoon, the Facebook team sent her emails notifying that due to repeated complaints by Facebook users, her fake profiles are being deactivated. A few hours later, in the evening, Dabi updated her Facebook status, clarifying that “…none of the ridiculous statements being made under my name are my opinions…”
The Lady Shri Ram College graduate has attained a mini-celebrity status since the UPSC exam results were announced a week ago, resulting in a slew of fan pages on social media. While the fake profiles have been taken down, the pages remain, often misquoting her or falsely attributing statements to her.
“I am a simple 22-year-old girl who has needlessly been dragged into this controversy. It’s heartbreaking that some people won’t let me enjoy my success after all the hard work I put in,” says Dabi.
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