Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said the “root of our culture will be cut” if Ram temple in Ayodhya is not rebuilt.

Bhagwat was speaking at an event organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Maharashtra’s Dahanu. “The Muslim community in India did not destroy the Ram Mandir,” he said, according to PTI. “Indian nationals can’t do such a thing, foreign forces destroyed temples in Mumbai to demoralise Indians.”

He added that India was independent now, and “we have the right to rebuild whatever was destroyed because these were not just temples but the symbols of our identity”. The RSS chief said anyone who tries “to divide Hindus are doing it for their self-interest, and Hindus need to unite by burying all the differences”, DNA reported.

He also attacked Opposition parties and claimed they were responsible for the caste violence across India. “Those whose shops have been shut [who have lost elections] are inciting people to fight on issues of caste,” Bhagwat said.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s new president Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje on Sunday said that the organisation’s main goal will continue to be the re-building of the temple in Ayodhya, according to India Today.