It was not for want of trying to slow down. The Post & Telegraph Department made marriage greetings in attractive envelopes that curtly said, "For happy married life please be in touch with the Family Welfare Centre". In the late ’60s the government pleaded, "Two or Three Children...Then Stop". When the fertile ’60s ended, the campaign cancelled the kind option of the third child. "We Two Ours Two, Horn Ok Please," the highway trucks began to say. But all that came to nothing. It was mass media’s biggest failure in human history.
Though the birth rate has come down significantly and fewer Indians are dying without a fight, there are so many of us today that this country adds an Australia every year. What if, starting from 1970, Indian couples had stuck to two children? What if the total fertility rate (TFR) or the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime had been two instead of 5.4 in 1970; 4.95 in 1980; 3.8 in 1990 and 3.06 in 2000?