Mangaluru, May 22, 2020: The Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations regrets the demise of its Patron Dr.Vijayam Gora(1st Dec,1936 -22nd May,2020) the executive director of Atheist Center, Vijayawada, which was founded by his parents Gora and Saraswati Gora in 1940.
After his masters in Political Science he worked as a lecturer in Andhra University before going to United states in 1968 to study at at the Martin luther King School of Social change at Chester, Philadelphia. Working as a research assistant and a lecturer there he returned to India in 1971 to take up the post as Director of Research at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi for five years. In 1975 his thesis of on directive principles of state policy in the Indian Political System was awarded Ph.D. He then returned to Vijayawada to continue his work at the atheist center.
He is also well known for his work in disaster management and social reforms in Andhra. He had organized the world atheist conferences in Vijayawada, the last one of which was in January,2020.He has numerous publications to his credit and was involved in many social and reformist movements. Inspired by his parents, Vijayam was brought up in a rationalist and atheistic environment.He participated and led various atheist and humanist campaigns and meetings from young age.He facilitated the performance of inter-caste, casteless and inter-religious and religionless marriages through the promotion of Special Marriage Act.
He was instrumental in organizing many national and international World Atheist Conferences and atheist study camps along with Gora family.
Vijayam was part of various paranormal claims investigations, witchcraft and sorcery and other godmen and godwomen investigations, along with his brothers, Lavanam, Samaram and Niyanta.Along with Lavanam and Hemalatha, he participated in Unity Marches, Peace Marches, Communal Harmony Marches, inter-religious and inter-caste discourses, criminal reformation work in Stuartpuram, jogini (remnant of Devadasi system) reformation, rehabilitation of the extremist groups to put down their arms and take up nonviolent livelihood options, revival of Indian literature through Gurram Joshua Foundation by recognizing well known poets and writers in India.
Keeping up with the usual practices of our movement, we do not follow any religious customs. His marriage with Sumathi was in 1966 without any religious ceremonies whatsoever in a hamlet of untouchables. She had a double masters in Vijayam married Sumathi in a ‘harijan basti’, (so-called the then, untouchables hamlet) currently Varalaxminagar, Vijayawada on June 6, 1966.The marriage was a social function with no rituals and in the presence of Mr. Narla Venkateswararao, a popular journalist, with vegetable garlands, casteless dining, involving communities from the lowest rung of the social ladder. Sumathi (July 23, 1941-November 17, 2013) was a double Masters in Sociology and Political Science and a Botanist.She dedicated her life as a teacher at the Vasavya Vidyalayam, an experimental school started by Mythri and Hemalatha Lavanam.
His son Vikas who is also actively involved in the Humanist rationalist movement is continuing his work.
Dr.Vijayam as a founder member of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations and later on as its Patron in an advisory role was a great inspiration for all of us. His strict adherence to principles of rationalism and humanism were all a great example for us. Even in his passing away no religious or superstitious rituals are going to be observed his eyes have been donated and eyes to Swetha Gora Eye Bank to his body will be donated to NRI medical college, Vijayawada.
It is a great loss for us the members of FIRA and we the members of his ideological family express our sincere condolences to the members of his biological family.
The enclosed photo is when he addressed the IV national conference of FIRA held at Canara College, Mangalore in 2003.
Federation of India Rationalist Associations