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Painted National Pride

Visitors to India are frequently enchanted by the spirited decoration of trucks which traverse the nation. We are immediately drawn to the quaintness of English phrases like Horn Please which are commonly emblazoned on the rear of commercial vehicles.
However we often miss the assortment of Hindi phrases – the most common of which reads Mera Bharat Mahan (मेरा भारत महान) meaning My India is Great. This patriotic declaration was popularised by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in his campaigning efforts to evoke a spirit of modernity across the nation. It went on to become a favoured proclamation of Indian cricket fans. The slogan prevalently graces the tailgates of trucks which cross state and cultural boundaries in a diversely painted salute to national pride.

Sometimes the sentiment is translated into English…

And other times things get a bit jumbled…
Related posts:
Indian Street Graphics (Flickr)
Street Art Gets Behind the Wheel

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • jan December 30, 2009, 3:28 PM

    Thanks so much for these posts. I lived in India and miss it all the time. Good job. Keep it coming!

  • Sahba January 7, 2010, 1:51 PM

    Thank you for this discovery. Its crazy how I’ve noticed all these signs over the years that I’ve lived in India, yet so conveniently overlooked the beauty in them. Its absolutely refreshing seeing sights and sounds through your eyes. Encourages me to pay better attention next time I’m home.

  • renuka March 31, 2011, 4:10 PM

    thanx sahba {for you who put into words – the exact feelings i also feel}
    and specially my daughter Kangan for making me realize the importance
    of such little little things… though i’ve seen these signs all the time!

  • Meena Kadri March 31, 2011, 4:20 PM

    Wow Mrs Arora (can I call you Renuka Aunty?) … am *so* flattered that you’ve dropped by. You probably know that your daughter & I have had a mutual admiration club going for a few years now from opposite sides of the globe. It was such a treat to meet up with her this year during Uttarayan in Ahmedabad and spend time trawling the Old City together there. What a bundle of talent you’ve raised!

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