New Delhi:  President Pranab Mukherjee in his first speech, after his swearing-in ceremony, said he would keep his office high and strive to rise above partisan interests in the service of the people.

READ MORE: Pranab takes oath as India's 13th President

Addressing the august gathering in the Central Hall of Parliament after taking the oath as country’s 13th President, he said, “I am deeply moved by the high honour bestowed on me. As the President, I would strive to preserve, protect and guard the constitution, not just in spirit but all across the divide of party and region.”

In his brief acceptance address, he said the principal responsibility of this office is to function as the guardian of the Constitution.

“The President’s top most responsibility is to guard the Constitution and reside by it and I would strive to preserve, protect and guard the Constitution,” he said.

The newly elected President further said, “I will stay impartial during the discharge of my duties as President and ensure that even the poorest of the poor feel that they are part of this great nation.”

He also said word poverty should be eliminated from the dictionary of modern India but felt tickle down theory would not work.

He said hunger is a humiliation for the mankind.

Referring to the change of equations post Cold War, he said the world was in the midst of fourth World War fighting terror of which India had the early experience.

Mukherjee ended his speech saying "There can be no greater reward for a public servant than becoming the First Citizen of the country."

We are in midst of 4th world war: Pranab

Mukherjee described the war against terrorism as the fourth world war since "it can raise its evil head anywhere in the world".

In his first presidential speech, Mukherjee said that the visible rewards of peace had obscured the fact that "the age of war is not over".

"We are in the midst of a fourth world war; the third was the Cold War, but it was very warm in Asia, Africa and Latin America till it ended in the early 1990s. The war against terrorism is the fourth; and it is a world war because it can raise its evil head anywhere in the world," he said.

"India has been on the frontlines of this war long before many other recognized its vicious depth or poisonous consequences," he added.

Mukherjee said that he was proud of the valour and conviction and steely determination of the armed forces as "they have fought this menace on our borders; of our brave police forces as they have met the enemy within; and of our people, who have defeated the terrorist trap by remaining calm in the face of extraordinary provocation".


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