The Sisat Daily (The largest urdu news circulated and widely read daily in india) reports on the 105th birth anniversary of atheist leader, social revolutionary and freedom fighter Gora.
Gora [Goparaju Ramachandra Rao 1902-1975)] was born into a high caste Hindu family in India. He wrote in his autobiography, We Become Atheists, that he grew up “conventionally orthodox and superstitious.” He pursued a botany degree, eventually earning his Master’s in botany at Presidency College in Madras. He married Saraswathi in 1922 when she was only 10. Both their families were Orthodox Hindu, which dictated that girls must marry before puberty, until the Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1935.
Gora devoted his life to propagating atheism. In 1940, he and his wife Saraswathi Gora co-founded the Atheist Centre, in a small village in the Krishna district. On the eve of Independence in 1947, they moved the center to Vijayawada.
Gora wrote many books, such as Atheism Questions and Answers, An Atheist Around the World, An Atheist with Gandhi, The Need of Atheism, and Positive Atheism. From 1949 on, he wrote a column on atheism, and began publishing The Atheist, a monthly, in 1969. Gora’s atheism dictated his campaign to abolish the caste system with its “untouchables,” and the idea of “karma” or divine fate. Gora died in 1975.
The Atheist Center, which continued under the guidance of Saraswathi, provides counseling, promotes intercaste and casteless marriages, works to abolish child marriages, provides aid to prostitutes, unwed mothers and vulnerable women, debunks superstitious beliefs by holding firewalking demonstrations and debunking other “miracles,” educates against belief in witchcraft and sorcery, promotes sexual education and family planning and many other reforms