Hair stylist Jawed Habib booked, apologizes for ad featuring Hindu Goddess

HYDERABAD: Renowned hair stylist Jawed Habib landed him in trouble after putting up an advertisement on a Bengali newspaper, promoting his hair salon, for the upcoming Durga Puja that showed Goddess Durga having a spa day.

The Goddess, along with her children Kartik, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganesh, in the print ad, were seen at the Habib’s beauty parlour, while the tag reads- ‘Gods too visit JH salon’.

The ad did not go well with many, leading to an uproar on the social media, for hurting their religious sentiments.

Two complaints were lodged against celebrity hairstylist accusing him of “insulting and demeaning” Hindu Gods.

K Karuna Sagar, a practicing advocate, yesterday filed a complaint with Saidabad Police stating that while browsing through a social media service, he came across a photo of an advertisement “issued” by Jawed Habib in a newspaper, allegedly depicting the Hindu Gods and Goddesses in “derogatory and insulting” way.

Sagar sought action against Jawed in the complaint.

The Saidabad Police registered the case under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code against Habib.

“We will investigate into the matter and, if need be, we shall summon Habib for questioning,” Saidabad police inspector K Sattaiah said.

Another complaint was lodged by a student of University of Hyderabad against Jawed with Gachibowli Police over the same issue. He too accused Jawed of hurting his religious sentiments.

Gachibowli Police Station Inspector S Chandrakanth said following the complaint they made a General Diary (GD) entry and were seeking legal opinion.

Through a video message posted on his Twitter handle, Habib offered an apology over the issue.

“One of our partners released the advertisement without our permission in Kolkata. Our system is through franchise and sentiments have been hurt. I have been working for 25 years. My only religion is scissor…I apologise.”

Similarly, a letter was also posted on the social media handle, in the name of Jawed Habib Hair & Beauty Limited which read: “We never ever intended to hurt the sentiments of any community. It was done without our knowledge of the company by some local people in West Bengal. We undertake to remove all such advertisement material from the media.”

“If our ad campaign had inadvertently hurt anyone’s sentiments we apologise for that to the public at large,” the letter added.

Along with apologising for the ad, Habib said that being abusive on social media is not the answer or solution to any problem.

“People know Jawed Habib for the last 30 years; and I can only talk of hair language or styles. Being an Indian; I am apologetic but the common man needs to understand things, rather than abusing. Using abusive language is not the answer. This is a mistake and I pledge and request that this will not happen again. And I will also take action against the one who objected to this in a negative way,” he said.