India should invest more in education than defence: Anita Bose

India will benefit if it spends more on education and social welfare rather than on its defence for dealing with any possible external threat, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff said today.

"It will be a happier situation if India is not threatened by war, particularly given problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan which has a very destabilising effect on the sub-continent.

If India manages to remain stable, it can well cut down on defence spending and pump in more money into education and social welfare...," she told reporters here.

Regretting high illiteracy rate in the country in spite of boasting about its intellectual potential, Anita said the society and its leaders must address this issue.
She said one might take pride in having a nuclear bomb, but one must address the problem of getting rid of nuclear waste.

Asked if this did not contradict the stand of her father who professed war to get Independence, Anita said the situation now was different from those days.
"My father then considered waging war against British rule to gain independence. The situation today is different," she said.

On the current political scenario, Anita said the country had crossed a 'very big hurdle' decades ago when Indira Gandhi accepted defeat in the elections and stepped down. Given the political structure now, the country has learnt to live with coalition governments, she added.

Asked if India needs a leader like Netaji along with Anna Hazare to fight corruption, Anita said the country needs such leaders, but the movement would not have any effect if people don't follow their ideals.

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