Famous hairdresser Jawed Habib on Monday joined the BJP. Jawed Habib, who is known for his chain of unisex hair salons across India and abroad, is estimated to have a net worth of $30 million. That's 209 crores INR.
While joining, Habib said he was "happy to join the BJP" as he had seen the "changes brought in the country by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last five years".
He further added that nobody should be "ashamed of their background". "When the prime minister is proud to state that he was a ‘chaiwala’ then why should I be ashamed of calling myself a ‘nai’ (barber)? Till today, I was a chowkidar of hair but now onwards, I am the country's chowkidar,” he said.
But this isn't Habib's first political connection. His family has a long history of haircutting and politics, intertwined.
Habib’s grandfather Nazir Ahmed was the personal barber for India’s last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and then the - first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. “My grandfather Nazir Ahmed, who used to cut the hair of almost all the heavyweights among Indian and British politicians, lived in Rashtrapati Bhawan," Habib had once shared in an interview. Habib was also born in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
His connection to hairdressing and politics didn't end there. Habib's father, Habib Ahmed took over the role of his father, Nazir Ahmed, when he was ill. Ahmed had shared how his scissors shook as it approached the head of the then Prime Minister. Nehru — stoic expression unchanged — lifted a hand and covered his ear near the scissors.
"When I started working as a hairstylist, our profession had no respectability. We were treated as glorified nais, though my clients were Indira Gandhi, the Oberois, the Modis and Rajmata Gayatri Devi. I had to struggle a lot to create awareness about international hairstyling trends,” Ahmed revealed in his biography. His father has also boasted of clients like former President late APJ Abdul Kalam, who Ahmed shared was a huge fan of shayaris.
Jawed Habib in an interview shared it was his father who convinced him to go to London’s Morris School of Hair Design, even though Habib never wanted to be a hair stylist.
While Habib may be new to the BJP and politics in general, his family has certainly has had a long history of it, one which does not seem to have been snipped.