Mumbai, Apr 15 (PTI) The “root of our culture” will be severed if the Ram temple in Ayodhya is not “rebuilt”, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said today.

He was speaking at a Viraat Hindu Sammelan at Dahanu in adjoining Palghar district.

“The Muslim community in India did not destroy the Ram Mandir. Indian nationals can’t do such a thing. Foreign forces destroyed temples here to demoralise Indians,” Bhagwat said.

“But today, we are independent. We have the right to rebuild whatever was destroyed because these were not just temples but the symbols of our identity,” he said.

“If the Ram Mandir (in Ayodhya) is not rebuilt, the root of our culture will be cut. There is no doubt that the temple will be built at the spot where it was,” Bhagwat said.

The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is before the Supreme Court.

The RSS chief hit out at opposition parties, blaming them for the recent caste violence in several parts of the country.

“Those whose shops have been shut (those who lost out in elections) are now inciting people to fight on issues of caste,” Bhagwat said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.