Goparaju Ramachandra Rao

Goparaju Ramachandra Rao (aka Gora) (November 15, 1902-1975) was an Indian atheist leader.

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.

Throughout the 1940s he worked in the Indian independence movement, and after Gandhi's assassination retained his links with leaders of the Gandhian movement, especially Vinoba Bhave.

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.

Click here to visit the website of The Atheist Centre