Joseph Konur had built the tomb as a protest against religion.

 After building a tomb for himself three years ago 72-year-old Kerala rationalist kills self
news Death Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 18:25

Joseph Konur’s family and friends had no inkling about what would happen.

Last week, the 72-year-old had informed the mason, who built him a tomb three years ago, to clean it at the earliest. He telephoned his children and relatives and requested them to visit him at home on Tuesday.

Joseph Konur hanged himself from the staircase of his house at Adimali in Kerala’s Idukki district on Monday night.

His final note read, “The pain is unbearable, so I am dying. No one is responsible for my death. Bury me according to my wish.”

In 2014, Joseph made headlines after he constructed a tomb for himself. 

“He was a man who was completely against religious malpractices and extremism. The construction of the tomb was his protest against religion as well as a message to the world that whatever we earn, a man’s life ultimately ends in the tomb. His final wish was to be buried in the tomb,” Sathyan Konattu, a writer and Joseph’s close friend told The News Minute.

As per Joseph’s wish he was buried in the tomb in front of his house without any religious ceremonies on Tuesday, with his family and friends attending the funeral.

Thankachan, another friend said, “He was very happy these days, we all felt that he was preparing for something, but never thought it was for his death. He had some ailments and his kidney disease brought him severe pain at times. His doctor had advised him to go for a surgery, but he never agreed as he did not want to trouble others in his old age.”

His friends say Joseph was a different man with his own set of ideologies. “He had his own views about life and death. He always told us he wanted to die without troubling anyone, that for 75 years he lived peacefully and in the last stage he doesn’t want any trouble,” Thankachan said.

“He was okay with his family members following religious rituals. He never interfered in others freedom,” he added.

Two years ago, Joseph had written a book titled Sathyathinte Vazhikal (Path of Truth). A copy of the book was buried along with Joseph’s body.

Joseph, who was a natural medicine practitioner and owned an Ayurveda pharmacy, quit practising a few years ago. After demolishing his pharmacy, the tomb was built.

“The tomb was beautifully built. He had made arrangements to light a lamp near it. He did all this so happily,” Sathyan says.

Joseph is survived by his wife Leelamma and three daughters, who are employed in government service.


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