Nagpur, Feb 17 (PTI) RSS joint general secretary Manmohan Vaidya said Sunday the restoration of the Somnath Temple, which was plundered by invaders, was an "act of restoring the glory of Bharat".
Speaking at a seminar titled 'Idea of Bharat' organised here, he also said the country was witnessing an ideological struggle between "Bharat", a concept which stood for its ancient history and culture, and the view of the nation from a westernised perspective.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader cited the restoration of the temple in Gujarat and said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and KM Munshi saw it as an act of restoring the country's glory.
"In 1948, then home minister Sardar Patel saw Somnath Temple in ruins and wanted to rebuild it in a grand way. This was not a religious or communal act nor was it against anybody. It was to restore the glory of Bharat," he said at the event.
"Similarly, KM Munshi, who was a cabinet minister in Pandit Nehru's government, took a lead in it. However, Pandit Nehru was opposed to this idea, though it was not as if he was anti-Bharat," Vaidya said.
"But Nehru's concept of Bharat was different and that of Sardar Patel and KM Munshi was different," he said.
"When it was time for the pran pratishta (idol consecration) of Somnath Temple, KM Munshi sent an invite to Pandit Nehru. The then PM attended it stating that he would have done so even if the invite was for a masjid or church," Vaidya said.
He further said, unfortunately, after Independence, there was a fashion to refuse to acknowledge who we really are.
As part of this fashion, "we started calling ourselves progressive, liberal and intellectual", Vadiya claimed. PTI CLS BNM 02172254 ANB