"On the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja, I extend warm greetings to all my fellow citizens both in India and abroad," the President said in his message.

Adding that Durga Puja celebrates the triumph of righteousness over evil, he said: "Goddess Durga is the embodiment of 'Shakti'.

She is the divine feminine force that governs all cosmic creation, existence and change."

"May this festival help us rise above all man-made divides and spread peace, happiness and prosperity in our country. Let us pray that Goddess Durga blesses us with strength, courage and determination so that we can succeed in our efforts to build a just, humane and equal society," he said.

"Let us, resolve to accord the highest of honour and respect to women at all times," he added.

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