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Pranab Mukherjee sworn in as 13th president, vows to protect the constitution
Pranab Mukherjee took oath as India's 13th president at an official ceremony in the Central Hall of parliament today and took over from Pratibha Patil.

MUKHERJEE, BORN on December 11, 1935, won the July 19 presidential poll as a UPA nominee by defeating the NDA nominee P.A. Sagma. Mukherjee was administered the oath by the Chief Justice of India S.H Kapadia and promised to stay impartial as President and vowed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India.

Here are the excerpts from text of the speech of India's new president:

A modern nation is built on some basic fundamentals: democracy, or equal rights for every citizen; secularism, or equal freedom to every faith; equality of every region and language; gender equality and, perhaps most important of all, economic equity. For our development to be real the poorest of our land must feel that they are part of the narrative of rising India.

There is no humiliation more abusive than hunger. Trickle-down theories do not address the legitimate aspirations of the poor. We must lift those at the bottom so that poverty is erased from the dictionary of modern India.

What has brought us thus far, will take us further ahead. India's true story is the partnership of the people. Our wealth has been created by farmers and workers, industrialists and service-providers, soldiers and civilians. Our social harmony is the sublime co-existence of temple, mosque, church, gurudwara and synagogue; they are symbols of our unity in diversity. Peace is the first ingredient of prosperity.

Gandhiji taught by example, and gave us the supreme strength of non-violence. India's philosophy is not an abstract in textbooks. It flourishes in the day-to-day life of our people, who value the humane above all else. Violence is external to our nature; when, as human beings, we do err, we exorcise our sins with penitence and accountability.

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