We too ours one

India’s trucks are colorfully painted.

India’s big trucks – “goods carriers” – are always colorfully painted and usually say something like “HORN OK”. But occasionally I see a social message, like “One is best” or “We two ours one”.

“One is best”, an old slogan, painted on a truck in Maharashtra, India.

India has long struggled with poverty and a rapidly growing population. Decades ago, the government launched aggressive campaigns for family planning and even sterilization.  (Nandan Nilekani’s book has a searing indictment of those programs, which often led to abuse when some health workers sought to meet their monthly sterilization quota.)

I still see the occasional sign or message referring back to this campaign, like the truck below that refers to “We two ours one.” I asked the taxi driver what it meant, and he explained to me that it referred to a married couple (two) who were to be encouraged to have just one child.

“We too ours one”, an old slogan, painted on a truck in Maharashtra, India.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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