Daali Dhananjay’s ‘Head Bush’ opened to mixed reviews in theatres. The movie is a biopic of M.P. Jayaraj, a famous don from Bengaluru. Directed by Shoonya, the movie is based on a book by Agni Sridhar, named ‘My Days In The Underworld’. The first part of the franchise focuses on the rise of the gangster, who once controlled the city the help of M.D. Nataraj.
Who was M.P. Jayaraj?
M.P Jayaraj was the product, or perhaps one of the causes of the mafia age in Bengaluru, during the 1970s and 1980s. An avid wrestler, Jayaraj, made it to the top of the gangster hierarchy, with the help of M.D Nataraj, son-in-law of the then Karnataka Chief Minister Devaraj Urs.
In her book titled ‘Bhais of Bengaluru’, Jyoti Shelar talks about the terror caused by the criminal gangs in the city. Reports suggested that it was an ex-Hindustan Aeronautical Limited employee who organised it all, M.P Jayaraj.
The decade of 1970s was an eventful one in the political history of Karnataka. The backward classes were pushed to the forefront, thanks to the policies of the then Chief Minister Devaraj Urs. The backward communities, especially the Dalits benefitted greatly from his schemes. However, to deal with the opposition, the CM used all his means, legitimate or otherwise. Jayaraj, who had monopolistic control over the Bengaluru underground, was of great help to his cause.
On January 25, 1977, when Jayaraj was at the peak of his criminal career, he openly attacked a wanted rowdy Gopi Thigalarpete on the premises of the city court in Bengaluru. Gopi survived and Devraj was sentenced to 10-year-long imprisonment.
While in prison, Jayaraj tried to maintain and grow his extortion business, however, the new pawns had already entered the game by then.
Jayaraj’s fall began while he was in the prison, Devraj Urs died and a new league dons, including the likes of Kotwal Ramchandra and Oil Kumar, had taken over the Bengaluru underground. When he got out of prison, Jayaraj functioned as a catalyst and got Ramchandra killed.
Jayaraj was famous among the public, he soon got more political and ran a newspaper targetting the Janata Dal named “Gareebi Hatao”. After having been lucky with a few life-threatening attacks, Jayaraj was shot to death on November 21, 1989, while he was returning from Siddapura Police Station.
Jayaraj and the Indira Brigade
“Nataraj, in a press statement, had once said that he wanted to model Indira Brigade on the lines of Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB)—the main security agency of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Nataraj envisioned Indira Brigade would function like a powerful and robust intelligence unit. The main aim of the brigade was to protect Indira Gandhi,” wrote Jyoti Shelar in her book.
Indira Brigade was a gang consisting of goons, which protected the leaders of the ruling party, and Jayaraj was its leader. “They were just goondas, who were at the disposal of Nataraj and chief minister Urs to be used as muscle for the political work. They started by harassing and looting couples at parks, but with political backing, they graduated to extortion, and most of them had attempted to murder or assault cases against them. The fear they created worked in the favour of the ruling party,” said a police officer to the Hindustan times.
Cleaning Off The Blood
— Dhananjaya (@Dhananjayaka) August 15, 2021
At the start of the 1990s, Bengaluru was showing promise of being a major force in the country. Meanwhile, Bengaluru police started a crackdown on major criminal activities in the city. On his trip to Davos for the World Economic Forum in 1995, the then Chief Minister HD Deve Gowda presented the ‘Brand Bengaluru’ plan to the world. The police, meanwhile, intensified their crackdown to rub off the bloodshed history of the city.