Jayaprakash multiple murders 1984


  • Finding Sukumara Kurup: Recreating a 37-year-old murder case that has become folklore in Kerala
  • How Jayaprakash Narayan’s historic blunder paved the way for BJP’s rise
  • Horror & Dark Fantasy
  • Jayaprakash Narayan Birth Anniversary
  • Finding Sukumara Kurup: Recreating a 37-year-old murder case that has become folklore in Kerala

    Published in June Issue 57 words How Peter Straub presupposed the post-gay character in his novel, Koko I write horror novels.

    Many of my characters are also gay men. Neither of which is true. The easiest way to cut through this nonsense is to invoke the name of Clive Barker. He writes horror novels. Sometimes he writes about bad things happening to gay men.

    In , Peter Straub, best-selling author of Ghost Story and Floating Dragon , introduced the character of Tim Underhill, a gay man with a complicated past who was portrayed not only as complex and sympathetic, but also as a hero, and in so doing Straub eschewed the limited and stereotypical depictions of LGBTQ characters prevailing in other speculative fiction of the time. First appearing in the novel Koko, Underhill would return as the first person narrator of the novel The Throat , and as the protagonist in the connected novels, lost boy lost girl and In the Night Room By writing Underhill as he did, Straub not only created a memorable, fascinating character, but he also presupposed a trend that would, nearly twenty years later, be recognized as a new class of characterization: the post-gay.

    In most of these works being gay is not central; these are just people living their lives. Indeed, the character of Tim Underhill is gay, but his homosexuality is not the focus of his character. Underhill is tortured, perhaps even self-loathing, but these qualities are more clearly attributed to his experiences in the Vietnam War and his ensuing downward spiral, than any crisis about his sexual identity.

    In Koko and the subsequent novels in which he is featured, he is presented as a strong, competent, and in comparison to the characters around him, well-adjusted gentleman. Koko has a special meaning to these men, and it leads them to believe that their old friend, Tim Underhill, also a Vietnam veteran, is the murderer. Three of the men journey first to Singapore and then to Bangkok in search of a man they had once all admired, but whom they now suspect is a serial killer.

    Underhill, then, is introduced to readers through the recollections of his platoon buddies. He is a man who, in the aftermath of his service in Vietnam, becomes a moderately successful mystery writer before returning to the Far East. There, his interest in writing wanes as he succumbs to his vices, which include alcoholism and chemical addiction. The son of a bitch was crazy, but he was crazy in the sanest possible way. Naturally, these characterizations were exploitative, playing to the overarching culture.

    So, rather than expressing traits inherent in homosexuals whatever those might be , these works expounded on the worst traits formed and reinforced by a homophobic society. When not portrayed as melancholically lovelorn or on the brink of self-destruction, gays were depicted as unwholesome and a moral threat. This is clear in the stereotype of the gay man as sexual predator. There can be no doubt that through the late s and s a level of sexual freedom emerged for gays that allowed for increased promiscuity, even sexual avidity, but to demonize the behavior with no consideration for the socio-political climate of the time—one that offered little if any effective relationship models for gays, and simultaneously discouraged committed long-term pairings of same-sex couples, through both social convention and legal precedent—would be insufficient.

    Still, the representations of gays as untethered sexual predators were many. Because of a social equation that connected LGBTQ behaviors to immorality, characters that exhibited overtly homosexual tendencies were often cast in the role of villain.

    However, an important change in the way gays were presented emerged in the s. The success of this title indicated to the publishing industry that gay and lesbian themed works could be commercially viable, opening the door for other books in the oeuvre. All three titles became commercially successful and solidified a demand for stories about the gay experience.

    By the mids, gay and lesbian characters and issues had leapt from the springboard fashioned by those titles in and were making a noticeable splash in the publishing mainstream.

    These titles were received well by critics and became commercially successful. Historically, horrific stories—whether fairy tales, myths, or works of literature—have been, at their core, morality plays, and it is easy to see the puritanical palette from which horror is inked. Uphold the status quo and all will be well. If you follow temptation, retribution waits in the shadows. Contemporary horror fiction has clung tightly to this heritage.

    That which is morally acceptable falls on the side of good, whereas deviations from the norm are perceived as justification for reprisal—often death—or indicate a character to be suspected or reviled.

    Though the literary mainstream had moved beyond many of these flat and harmful stereotypes, genre fiction, including horror fiction, still relied on them heavily. In supporting a narrow perception of what is normal and acceptable, the horror fiction of the day often read as propaganda for the heteronormative, white, middle-class.

    As such, it is no surprise that during the horror fiction boom of the s and s genre authors rarely included gay characters in their stories, and when they did incorporate them, the characters fared poorly. Though not all works in the genre included overt homophobic references, too many did. The trend of denigrating what few gay characters appeared in horror fiction continued through the s as pulp writers churned out one horrific tale after another and found the need to populate their books with easily identifiable characters whose only roles were to serve as disposable victims or villains.

    Stereotyping made this an easy task. No further exploration of character was necessary, as readers were invited to bring their own understanding of these types—promoted and reinforced by popular culture—to the text.

    But the s also saw the arrival of a new wave of horror authors, most notably Clive Barker, an openly gay writer, who in his pioneering Books of Blood, Volumes I-VI, not only gave readers full and engaging gay characters, but did so unapologetically in a number of stories. Fortunately, Barker fought for his artistic vision and nudged the door open for positive LGBTQ content in horror fiction, but it was only a nudge.

    One of the ways Straub makes the character of Tim Underhill work so well within the parameters of the horror genre of the time is to misdirect readers by suggesting that Underhill is playing the expected role of villain.

    The reader knows little about Underhill until he comes into the action nearly halfway through the narrative. He is a troubled man, but not a sick man, not an evil man. This compassionate portrayal was uncommon in horror literature.

    Indeed, it was all but unheard of, and it was not terribly common in mainstream literature outside of self-identified gay authors, whose work at the time focused extensively on the conflicts of being gay in a society ravaged by social oppression and plague. Granted, this post-gay approach satisfied a commercial purpose.

    Straub effectively made Underhill more accessible to the average genre reader, who might blanch at a story that threw them too deeply into the gay experience. Even so, his approach showed tremendous respect for the character of Underhill and, by proxy, the gay community.

    The popular gay authors of the time wrote about certain kinds of experiences, creating work that was intelligent and significant, both culturally and also to the literary canon. Their stories spoke to an emergent culture, one that had been estranged and persecuted—by the media, by the government, and by nature itself in the form of AIDS.

    Underhill was not part of a ghetto; he represented a different kind of gay experience, one in which his sexuality did not mean voluntary segregation, but rather one in which a gay character might interact with the larger society and find emotional support, respect, and a meaningful life.

    Without question, both forms of representation are valuable as they support the self-esteem and cultural identity of a group that even now struggles to be heard, recognized, and respected. But lately, with all the social and legal changes, and the way the perception of gay people has changed, I feel that gay writing is already dissolving into the main body of writing. Billy Martin Poppy Z. Brite produced a number of successful, important novels with gay protagonists, including Drawing Blood and Exquisite Corpse Social tolerance of gays by the straight community is not universal, but it has progressed significantly in the past thirty years.

    Should this trend continue, and optimistically it will, then eventually the conflicts of gay characters will vary to a lesser degree from the struggles of straight characters. This is not to say that we will see the end of gay literature.

    Even so, as our culture and the stories it tells evolve, sexual identity should become even less a provocative appellation, and simply one facet in a layered, complex characterization.

    Instead, he was a unique and important creation, showing not how gays were presented in either publishing category, but how they might, one day, be written in both.

    As such, Straub presupposed a post-gay literary climate and did so with intelligence, affection, and compassion. Enjoyed this article? Consider supporting us via one of the following methods:.

    A black Ambassador with the license plate KLQ was going up in flames in the middle of a paddy field with an almost-charred body of a person in the driving seat, he blurted out. After filing an FIR, officers rushed to the site of the accident where a small crowd had gathered already. There were rumblings that the car might have veered off the road running by the side of the field, catching fire in the process.

    Murali Vrindavanam, then a year-old political worker, whose family ran a ration shop in the area, remembered being alerted to the burning car by locals. But after some time, when the blaze was put out partially, we realised that there was a person inside who looked as if he was tied to the seat.

    It was after the team of then Deputy Superintendent of Police DySP PM Haridas reached the spot around am and closely inspected the surroundings that tiny clues pointing to the incident being much more than a plain car accident began to stack up. Around the car, officers found a matchbox, a pair of footwear and a rubber glove with a hair in it. The air carried a whiff of petrol and there were footprints in the mud indicating someone fleeing from the spot.

    By then, word had spread that the deceased was Sukumara Kurup , a something native of nearby Cheriyanad who had arrived from the Gulf a couple of weeks ago. A few of his relatives arrived at the spot weeping, trying to get a last glimpse of him. The body found charred in the car, the police later learnt, was that of Alappuzha-native Chacko, a film representative who turned out to be the hapless victim of a diabolical plot hatched by Kurup, Pillai and two others to become rich overnight.

    He had no clue that day that he would be drawn into a murder case that would define his career and go on to become one of the most sensational cases in the criminal history of Kerala. The trial in the case began and ended, the accused have served their time and families, torn apart by the episode, have begun to heal. But one constant remains: Kurup, whose name and exploits got etched in the collective psyche of Malayalis, is still on the run, at least on record.

    Debris of the engine of the car in which Chacko was burnt still remains at the Mavelikkara police station compound. It was Gopalakrishna Kurup. Born into a middle-class, upper-caste household in Cheriyanad, Kurup was drawn to adventure from an early age.

    He also bid goodbye to that name when he applied for a passport in order to migrate to the Gulf and took on a new name: Sukumara Pillai. Pillai and Kurup are sub-castes of the Nair community in Kerala. Kurup displayed the same shades of intrepid behaviour when it came to love. When his parents got wind of it, they were furious and sent letters to Sarasamma ordering her to end the affair. But Kurup was insistent. The next chapter of his life in Abu Dhabi with the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company was largely seen as peaceful, according to police accounts.

    Soon, his wife joined him in Abu Dhabi as a nurse at a private hospital. He earned a great deal of goodwill by helping his friends in moments of crisis, irrespective of how close they were to him. On vacations to Kerala, Kurup brought suitcases filled with goodies for his friends and family as was common in those days with Gulf Malayalis. Throughout his stay, he would insist on picking up the tab on liquor bills for his friends — a sign of superior social and economic status he seemed to take great pride in.

    During that time, he bought a plot of land at Ambalapuzha to build a house and purchased an Ambassador for leisure trips. The result of such opulence was a weak bank balance and shoddy financial management. Despite the combined salaries of Kurup and his wife touching Rs 60, a month, their savings were depressed.

    It was around this time that Kurup began to hear strong rumours of companies in the Gulf, including his, planning to shed their existing workforce and hire new workers at lower wages. With his house under construction back home, money was the need of the hour.

    The answer presented itself to Kurup through a story he accidentally read in an English detective magazine one night. To anyone else, it may have sounded outlandish, but for a man who held a daredevil attitude to life, it seemed just right. PM Haridas, who was in charge of the probe, at his residence in Kollam Photo credit: Vysakh Venugopal Creating the story The story was that a man killed another person who held a physical resemblance to him, put him in the driver seat of his car, set fire to it to make it appear as an accident and then claimed insurance for his life.

    The more Kurup thought about it, the more it seemed plausible. But he needed help. One night in Abu Dhabi, he presented the idea to Shahu after a round of drinks just to gauge his response. All they had to do was make it seem like an accident, convince the police and locals that Kurup died, claim insurance and split the money. Once Shahu, who had financial problems of his own including marrying off three sisters at home, nodded to the plan, Kurup roped in Pillai and his driver Ponnappan as well.

    From then on, things moved quickly. Pillai bought a second-hand Ambassador for Rs 8, and Kurup and Shahu, having taken leave from the company, arrived at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport in the first week of January. The erstwhile paddy field where the burning car was found On the intervening night of January , , Kurup, Pillai, Shahu and Ponnappan assembled at the Kalpakavadi Hotel at Karuvatta on the National Highway 47 for dinner before they went hunting for a victim, multiple police accounts said.

    After dinner and generous helpings of liquor, the four of them trooped into two cars — Kurup in the newly-purchased KLQ and the others in a car with the license plate KLY The four of them in two cars, one behind the other, rode through the highway at night up till Oachira, a distance of about 25 km, without finding any luck.

    Turning back, as they approached the Hari movie theatre near Haripad, they saw a man by the side of the road stretching his hand for a lift. The man identified himself as Chacko, a film representative who was returning home after assessing the ticket collections at the theatre. As the car proceeded toward Alappuzha, Pillai struck the first move by offering Chacko a glass of brandy laced with ether. But the latter declined. Pillai offered him a second time, this time in a sterner tone.

    When Chacko said no yet again, it was a sign for Ponnappan to swerve out of the highway into a side road. Together, Pillai and Shahu, using a towel they carried, strangled Chacko to death, the chargesheet said.

    Putting his body in the boot of KLY, the group, in two cars, proceeded toward the paddy field at Thannimukkam. There, in the final act of their depraved conspiracy, the group placed Chacko in the driving seat of KL-Q ambassador, pushed it toward the paddy field, poured petrol over it and lit it on fire.

    It is the last remaining physical remnant of a brutal criminal episode. As cars and buses swing by the field, even today, drivers often slow down and phone cameras rise up instinctively to capture a place of infamous proportions. The year-old Haridas, long-retired as Superintendent of Police and now at his residence in Kollam, has occasional memory lapses.

    But there are certain things he still remembers vividly from that time. No one appeared sad that the most important member of the family had passed away. But when questioned by the police, Pillai first said he got burnt while lighting a fire to keep the cold away.

    The story changed in a matter of minutes: he got burnt while carrying hot water in a vessel. When his testimonies began getting contradictory, the police knew there were more people in the loop. It was then-Mavelikkara circle inspector KJ Devasia, now retired from the force, who apprehended Shahu from his home in Chavakkad and questioned him on the mystery man who was set on fire.

    It was a coastal area. Had I reached an hour late, I would have missed him. To find out the identity of the deceased, the police sent out messages to all nearby police stations for missing person complaints. I was very happy to contribute to the case. Shahu, initially charged as one of the accused, was made a police approver. Pillai and Ponnappan were found guilty by the sessions court and sentenced to life in prison. The wives of Kurup and Pillai, arraigned as third and fourth accused in the case, were acquitted for lack of evidence.

    Where luck aided the police in catching Shahu and solving the case, it eluded them on multiple occasions when it came to Kurup. The closest the police came to trapping Kurup was in Aluva where the latter was holed up in a lodge for a few days. Then Kayamkulam-circle inspector Jayaprakash, now retired as Superintendent of Police, recalled the time when he was deputed to Aluva that night.

    I immediately set off from Mavelikara just after midnight and reached Aluva around am. But when we reached the lodge, we realised that he had left Aluva by the Malabar Express a few hours ago.

    Such was the mad-like fixation with catching him that officers like him, Jayaprakash said, even borrowed and spent money from their own pockets to travel in search of solid leads. It agonised them to no end that he could elude them.

    When the call comes, he would rush off. I have worried for him so many times. More recently, actor Dulquer Salmaan is slated to play the character in a forthcoming movie titled Kurup.

    If he is alive today, he would be 74 years old. Click here to join our channel indianexpress and stay updated with the latest headlines For all the latest Eye News , download Indian Express App.

    The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.

    Three of the men journey first to Singapore and then to Bangkok in search of a man they had once all admired, but whom they now suspect is a serial killer. Underhill, then, is introduced to readers through the recollections of his platoon buddies.

    He is a man who, in the aftermath of his service in Vietnam, becomes a moderately successful mystery writer before returning to the Far East.

    How Jayaprakash Narayan’s historic blunder paved the way for BJP’s rise

    There, his interest in writing wanes as he succumbs to his vices, which include alcoholism and chemical addiction. The son of a bitch was crazy, but he was crazy in the sanest possible way. Naturally, these characterizations were exploitative, playing to the overarching culture. So, rather than expressing traits inherent in homosexuals whatever those might bethese works expounded on the worst traits formed and reinforced by a homophobic society.

    When not portrayed as melancholically lovelorn or on the brink of self-destruction, gays were depicted as unwholesome and a moral threat. This is clear in the stereotype of the gay man as sexual predator. There can be no doubt that through the late s and s a level of sexual freedom emerged for gays that allowed for increased promiscuity, even sexual avidity, but to demonize the behavior with no consideration for the socio-political climate of the time—one that offered little if any effective relationship models for gays, and simultaneously discouraged committed long-term pairings of same-sex couples, through both social convention and legal precedent—would be insufficient.

    Still, the representations of gays as untethered sexual predators were many. Because of a social equation that connected LGBTQ behaviors to immorality, characters that exhibited overtly homosexual tendencies were often cast in the role of villain. However, an important change in the way gays were presented emerged in the s. The success of this title indicated to the publishing industry that gay and lesbian themed works could be commercially viable, opening the door for other books in the oeuvre.

    All three titles became commercially successful and solidified a demand for stories about the gay experience. By the mids, gay and lesbian characters and issues had leapt from the springboard fashioned by those titles in and were making a noticeable splash in the publishing mainstream. These titles were received well by critics and became commercially successful. Historically, horrific stories—whether fairy tales, myths, or works of literature—have been, at their core, morality plays, and it is easy to see the puritanical palette from which horror is inked.

    Uphold the status quo and all will be well. If you follow temptation, retribution waits in the shadows. Contemporary horror fiction has clung tightly to this heritage. That which is morally acceptable falls on the side of good, whereas deviations from the norm are perceived as justification for reprisal—often death—or indicate a character to be suspected or reviled.

    Though the literary mainstream had moved beyond many of these flat and harmful stereotypes, genre fiction, including horror fiction, still relied on them heavily.

    Horror & Dark Fantasy

    In supporting a narrow perception of what is normal and acceptable, the horror fiction of the day often read as propaganda for the heteronormative, white, middle-class.

    As such, it is no surprise that during the horror fiction boom of the s and s genre authors rarely included gay characters in their stories, and when they did incorporate them, the characters fared poorly. Though not all works in the genre included overt homophobic references, too many did. The trend of denigrating what few gay characters appeared in horror fiction continued through the s as pulp writers churned out one horrific tale after another and found the need to populate their books with easily identifiable characters whose only roles were to serve as disposable victims or villains.

    Stereotyping made this an easy task. No further exploration of character was necessary, as readers were invited to bring their own understanding of these types—promoted and reinforced by popular culture—to the text. But the s also saw the arrival of a new wave of horror authors, most notably Clive Barker, an openly gay writer, who in his pioneering Books of Blood, Volumes I-VI, not only gave readers full and engaging gay characters, but did so unapologetically in a number of stories.

    Fortunately, Barker fought for his artistic vision and nudged the door open for positive LGBTQ content in horror fiction, but it was only a nudge. One of the ways Straub makes the character of Tim Underhill work so well within the parameters of the horror genre of the time is to misdirect readers by suggesting that Underhill is playing the expected role of villain. The reader knows little about Underhill until he comes into the action nearly halfway through the narrative. He is a troubled man, but not a sick man, not an evil man.

    Soon, the movement acquired a larger dimension and demands were made to dissolve the state assembly for the brutal baton charge. Then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was of the opinion that a movement that is demanding the dismissal of an elected government is fascist in nature. In the final stages of his life, JP was in pain over the poor state of affairs in the country and participated in the Bihar movement out of this agony. At the time, the Communist Party was opposing the movement and siding with Indira Gandhi.

    Jayaprakash Narayan Birth Anniversary

    Gandhivadi organisations were also in a poor state. Vinoba Bhave was standing with Indira Gandhi too. The socialist camp was also participating in the organisation with less-than-required zeal. In such circumstances, his reliance on cadre-based RSS and Jan Sangh increased much more than he would have liked.

    He was probably in a delusion that, ultimately, he will be successful in de-communalising the RSS and the Jana Sangh. But we will now have to accept that JP made a historic blunder in recognising the true nature of the RSS. The RSS has been playing a constant role since its inception. Despite this, the blunder that the socialists committed by involving the Sangh in got repeated in the times of the JP movement. Both decisions were led by anti-Congressism. Views are personal. This article has been translated from Hindi.


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