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Breaking lockdown norms? Prim coiffures of Union Ministers belie use of personal barbers

While lesser mortals must live with overgrown hair and dishevelled looks due to saloons and barber shops being shut since lockdown began, Union Ministers appearing on TV don’t have a hair out of place

Breaking lockdown norms? Prim coiffures of Union Ministers belie use of personal barbers

Abid Shah

Pictures may never lie. Yet, nowadays, images of most Union Ministers so consistently thrust over TV screens do betray, if not belie, the current lockdown. A simple pointer to this is their impeccable hairdo.

It is always prim and proper – hardly any different from what used to be the case since before the lockdown. So if the COVID-19 shutdown is not being breached by Ministers themselves, who right from Prime Minister to Amit Shah to others mostly prefer video-conferencing instead of risking physical proximity with others, it must have indeed been broken by the Ministers’ barbers.

And God knows how often it would have been so amid the lockdown to put the looks and image of the higher ups of the country in a decent, tony and screen-savvy form and shape.

Hairdressers being missed so badly everywhere by lesser mortals like you and I since the month before last, appear to be on call at will to the Lutyens’ Zone bungalows in Delhi. And cops may either be accompanying them or looking away to avoid any discernible breach of the Corona curfew.

Yet, in all likelihood, this is going to continue in Delhi because of the Capital being put under red zone through the extended period of the lockdown for another two weeks.

It is more so since Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a detailed note on Friday, May 1, saying in no uncertain terms that “In the Red Zones, outside the containment zones, certain activities are prohibited in addition to those prohibited throughout the country. These are: plying of cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws; running of taxis and cab aggregators; intra-district and inter-district plying of buses; and, barber shops, spas and saloons.”

Barber shops, spas and saloons remain shut since March 24, bringing a bit of ennui at least among most people and more so for those who had missed going to the barber before the shutdown began, and both have now to live with overgrown hair and carry dishevelled looks for another couple of weeks. This can also be longer if the lockdown undergoes further round of extension.

In sharp contrast to what a layman has to live with due to absence of barber, quite a few senior Ministers like Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Narendra Singh Tomar and Prakash Javadekar were seen as late as on Friday, a day when MHA extended the lockdown, on four different TV news channels and their hair were markedly in perfect order.

It is obvious that these Ministers, and may be their other Cabinet colleagues, have been availing the services of their hairdressers even after the lockdown came into force.

This can also be the case with other, or Opposition, parties’ leaders in violation of the norms set for the lockdown though not many of them are visible as often on TV channels as is the case with several Central Ministers and other BJP leaders. But what is even more important and can well be rather worrying is the hazard that accompanies this. Hair is thought to be highly susceptible to catch Coronavirus infection. Thus, what is touted via television to ward off the virus is hardly being practiced even by the top Ministers.

Unlike what seems to be the case with most of them, it turned out that the BJP MP from West Delhi Pravesh Verma had last month himself tonsured his head. He said in a video uploaded by him on Twitter that he “shaved his head”, indicating that he did not take help of a barber. The unseemly step was reportedly taken by him to mourn as per the customary Hindu rites and show indignation over the ghastly lynching of two monks at Palghar in Maharashtra.

Perhaps the Ministers too should follow the do-it-yourself model set by the MP and trim their hair themselves. It may be far better than depending on barbers in times of Corona lockdown and run the risk of getting infected.

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