Vijayawada

Noted atheist G. Lavanam dead

VISAKHAPATNAM (Andhra Pradesh): 22-05-2009: Renowned Gandhian G. Lavanam at a seminar on Gandhian Thought on Friday at Visakhapatnam.. -- -- Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

VISAKHAPATNAM (Andhra Pradesh): 22-05-2009: Renowned Gandhian G. Lavanam at a seminar on Gandhian Thought on Friday at Visakhapatnam.. -- -- Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam.   | Photo Credit: C_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

Noted social reformer and atheist G. Lavanam, 86, breathed his last in Vijayawada on Friday morning and last rites performed on Saturday, announced family members.

Social reformer and prominent atheist leader Goparaju Lavanam, 86, died of cardiac arrest at 9.50 a.m. here on Friday. The end came after a brief illness that saw him fighting a losing battle at Ramesh Hospitals, where he was shifted three weeks ago after he complained of uneasiness.

His body has been brought to the Atheist Centre near Benz Circle where people from various walks of life gathered in large numbers to pay their last tributes to the departed soul.

Born on October 10 in 1930, Lavanam was the eldest son of freedom fighters and social reformers Gora (Goparaju Ramachandra Rao) and Saraswathi Gora. He married Hemalata, daughter of renowned poet Gurram Joshua. He is brother of noted sexologist and former IMA president G. Samaram.

At a very young age of 12, he discontinued school to join his father Gora and participate in the freedom struggle and propagation of positive atheism. Lavanam’s radical thoughts on social change could be attributed to the vast exposure he had at a young age of meeting national and international leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Vinobha Bhave, Jayaprakash Narayan, King Martin Luther (Jr.), George Willoughby, Paul Kurtz (USA), Sir Herman Bondi (UK) and of course his father Gora.

An atheist, an unconventional scholar, a social philosopher and a Gandhian scholar, Lavanam firmly believed and worked relentlessly for spread of positive atheism, Gandhian humanism and social reform all his life. His and his wife had done social service among the Stuartpuram criminals and Joginis of Nizamabad District for over four decades.

Lavanam means ‘salt’. As he was born at the time of Salt Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi, his father Gora named his new-born son ‘Lavanam’ to commemorate the significant event.

His family members said as per Lavanam’s wish, his eyes would be donated to Swetcha Gora Eye Bank and he body will be donated to Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Medical College in Vijayawada based on his wish after the last journey on Friday.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:32:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/noted-atheist-g-lavanam-dead/article7539430.ece

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