After Spitting On A Woman’s Head, Jawed Habib Says He Was Trying To Make The Seminar Humorous
Habib’s video apology has not gone down well with his followers on Facebook and other social media users, with many expressing disappointed over his action.
A day after the National Commission for Women wrote to Uttar Pradesh Police, directing them to take action against renowned hairstylist Jawed Habib for spitting on a woman, he released a statement of apology.
On his verified Facebook account that has more than one million followers, Habib posted a 28-second video of him with the caption, “Sorry…I mean it”.
Habib says, “Some of the words used in my seminar has hurt some people. I want to say only one thing. Our seminars are meant for professionals, that is, people from within the [grooming] industry. These are very long shows. And we got to make them humorous. But I will say one thing, straight from the heart. If you are truly hurt, then forgive and move on. Sorry, from my heart.” (Translated by Swarajya from Hindi)
Habib posted the statement late night on 6 January, the same day the Muzaffarnagar Police received a complaint against him from Baraut resident Pooja Gupta. Some reports say a first information report (FIR) based on the complaint has been flied, but Swarajya has not been able to verify this information.
In a seminar in Muzaffarnagar city of western Uttar Pradesh on 3 January, where Habib was called for giving training and tips to professionals in the grooming industry, he spit on a woman’s head while styling her hair. The woman was one of the several professionals who had paid Rs 2,500 to attend Habib’s seminar, which was organised by a company called WonderSoft Professional at Kings Villa Hotel.
A video of Habib's spitting act was widely circulated on social media. In the video, Habib was seen saying that if there is no water in a salon, the hair-stylist can spit in the client’s hair. Habib went on to actually spit in Gupta’s hair. He laughed and told the audience, “mere is thook mein jaan hai (my spit has power).”
Gupta later revealed to news channels that Habib had not taken kindly to her asking questions during his seminar. Earlier during the show, he insulted her by telling her to “shut up and sit down” (translated) and that he runs 900 salons whereas she runs just one. Later, he called her on stage to be a model for a demonstration of haircut. He again mocked her, saying she had been saying ‘this is not possible, this is not possible’ during the seminar but had come running for the haircut from the same trainer. To humiliate her further, he spit in her hair on stage, pretending it was a joke.
Baraut in around 60 kilometres from Muzaffarnagar. Gupta told reporters yesterday that she first went to Baraut Police Station to file a complaint, but the officers asked her to go to Muzaffarnagar as that is where the incident had taken place.
Gupta runs a beauty parlour by the name Vanshika in Baraut.
She told the media that when she stepped down from the stage, Habib’s assistant told her that he was joking. Gupta told him it was no joke and raised objection, but none from the organising committee or Habib’s team supported her.
Gupta told the media the incident had “ruined her career”.
“My clients are telling me I have lost my reputation. Others are saying I, a nobody, has taken on a celebrity like Jawed Habib and stand no chance in the parlour business now,” she said.
Reactions To Apology
Habib’s video statement has not gone down well with his followers on Facebook and other social media users. Most of the 60-odd comments on Habib’s post say spitting is a form of disrespect and not a matter of joke, and that they are very disappointed by him.
“Spitting on someone is a form of disrespect, if you find that funny or “humorous” let someone else spit on you in front of everyone. “Professional Seminar” my ass. I wanted to be an hairstylist and I always looked up to you. That was disappointing,” wrote a person. Another told Habib to apologise to Gupta by naming her.
On Twitter where his statement was posted by some influential accounts, angry users asked if they could spit on Habib if his seminar goes on to become long and boring.
Gupta‘s reaction to Habib’s apology, where he has neither mentioned his spitting act nor Gupta, is yet unknown.
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