NEW DELHI: Senior RSS functionary Dattatreya Hosabale on Friday said the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be a symbol of "cultural nationalism" in the country, while asserting that its construction is not merely a religious affair.
With the construction of the temple, there will be both Ram and "roti", he said, adding that Ram means cultural, sociological and spiritual development of the country and "roti" means its economic growth.
Underlining that the temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya is not merely a religious affair, the joint general secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said, "It is for the cultural awakening of the country. The Ram temple will be a symbol of cultural nationalism in the country, which has been engulfed by an English mindset for long."
Asserting that the construction of the temple is a cultural responsibility of the government, he said a few people are trying to project it as an administrative responsibility for their political benefits.
On politicians opposing the construction of the temple for the sake of secularism, Hosabale said, "They should understand that nationalism and cultural nationalism cannot be suppressed in the name of secularism."
Hoping that its construction will usher in a new era of cultural nationalism in India, he said with the temple in place, the values and principles of the kings of Ayodhya will replace the western mindset in the country.
Hosabale made these remarks at an event to release a book on the history of the Ram janmabhoomi movement written by Arun Anand, who heads the IVSK, the communication arm of the RSS.
Speaking at the event, Vishva Hindu Parishad's (VHP) working president Alok Kumar said the construction of the temple is representative of the country's fight for its self-respect, culture and ethos, which many conquerors had attempted to destroy.
Drawing a parallel between the "Black Lives Matter" and Ram janmabhoomi movements, he said both struggles were for justice and equity for a specific culture and its people.
The "bhoomi pujan" of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is slated to be held on August 5.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the event.