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President greets nation on Ganesh Chaturthi

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee greeted the nation Sunday on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi and exhorted the people to make fresh efforts towards building a "new, just, strong and caring India where people live in happiness and harmony".

Mukherjee said the celebration of the festival that marks the birth of Lord Ganesh brings people from all walks of life together.

The 10-day Ganeshotsav festival begins Monday.

"The large-scale public celebrations of this festival were successfully encouraged by the great freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak to galvanise support for India's independence movement," he said.

The president appealed to the people to resolve to renew the spirit and vision of the great leader (Tilak) and re-dedicate themselves to the country's development and progress.

"May the festivities associated with Ganesh Chaturthi mark the beginning of fresh efforts towards building a new, just, strong and caring India where people live in happiness and harmony," he said.

"Let us celebrate this festival by reaffirming our faith in all that is good, noble and virtuous and instilling in ourselves pride in the composite culture of India," he added.