In her address, she stated that the country should not ignore the long term goals and pull down the whole system in the name of reforms aiming to bring in more transparency in public life and institutions. In an obvious reference to the civil society pressurizing the government to pass the anti-graft Lokpal Bill, the same was faced with some stiff resistance by various political parties and faced roadblocks in the Rajya Sabha.
Patil said in her address, "While shaking the tree to remove the bad fruit, we do not bring down the tree itself. There will be short-term pressures, but in this process we must not lose sight of the long-term goals, and must work together on our core national agenda."
Targeting the various political parties and the civil society, Patil stated that solutions to matters of national importance and those "in the spirit of national interest" will be arrived at through amicable discussion.
Adding that people should be willing to listen to each other, she commented, "This will strengthen the roots of our democracy and the foundations of our nation. We have a shared future and we should not forget that it can be achieved if we demonstrate a sense of responsibility and a show of unity."
In an understated reference to the civil society's upsurge following the various graft cases, Patil blamed their "tendency to doubt almost everything". She said on this, "Don't we have faith in our own people's strengths and in our institutions? Can we afford distrust amongst ourselves? Concord, not discord, is the way forward for a country as large as India."
She stated that India's institutions may not be flawless, but they have coped with challenges.