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  • nojoke
    04-07 10:40 PM
    exactly ..and housing is worse then stocks i.e. it takes longer to recover. for lot of people like me definitely makes sense to rent. 3 of my close friends are literally cursing their decision to buy (pressure from spouse and trying to keep up with others) ,.. there is one other major point for people on EAD. once you get a GC you may get a super duper job offer somewhere ..if you are stuck in a house then you are severly handicapped by that house (i.e. you cannot relocate easily).
    btw even the realtors are saying that it will be atleast end 2009 before any possible housing recovery (if realtors say end 2009 then it means atleast 2010 before price decline stops).

    Desis who come here are all engineers and well educated. I couldn't believe that some of them are falling for the realtor tricks. I know someone who last year paid 200K more on an advertised price of 1million. He said the realtor told him that there was bidding war and he kept rising it and eventually got the house for 1.2million. What stupidity. Doesn't he know about phantom bids that realtors use to jack up the price.:( This is last year end when housing here started crashing. I asked him how he is going to pay when his arm resets. He says he will refinance. God save him.

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  • immique
    07-14 01:56 AM
    really! can you give me the name of that high school that you are talking about. I want to find out if I can qualify as an EB2 Physician/Scientist if I go to that particular high school and get my high school degree. why the hell would any body waste 15 years going to college, Medical school, post graduate trying to get the required skills.

    I don't think the issue is that simple. The whole thing just surfaced another screw-up of the system. The actions taken by all the agencies certainly made things worse.

    DoS suddenly interpretted laws differently than before. This just like the PERM, BEC, and last July episode. They took actions without considering people already in line. Those with good faith waiting in line have been constantly pushed around. How many people experienced being stuck in BEC while PERM approves new application like crazy? Who is accountable for all of these? They can't do things willy nilly any more. Someone mentioned lawsuit since DoS either interpret the law wrong now or in the past.

    Needless to say that the distincation between EB2 and EB3 has become so meaniningless now. How many positions really satisfy the EB2 requirements? From what I heard that most people just try to get around the system to get an EB2. One of the persons who filed EB2 told me that a high school graduate would probably be able to work in that position too.

    Just my observation.

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  • rajuseattle
    07-14 08:59 PM

    Petition or efforts to recapture wasted VISA numbers is a good effort and I do support that inititiative.

    But their seems to be other petition floating around which ignited verbal fighting/arguments between EB-2 and EB-3 indians, that's harmful for the unity of this community (IV).

    I was against that petition which was written to Charles oppenheim complaning about the allocation of spill over VISA numbers to EB-2 India and China.

    I hope this explains my stand on IV efforts.

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  • abcdgc
    12-27 01:08 AM
    Indian government recently shared with Saudi the evidence of Pakistan government direct involvement in Mumbai attacks. This evidence has not been made public because Indian public wanting to go to war from raise from 80% to 100%. It will be impossible for the government not respond to the war started by Pakistan.

    Just like Kargil, this is now an old trick. Pakistan used soilders from its army to attack Kargil and later claimed that those people were not from Pakistan. Its like a joke that rain falling from the sky is not coming from the clouds. Mushraff played this trick in Kargil and got rid of Shraif. Kayanai is using Mushraff's play book and wants to get rid of Zardari. US wants to think that Zardari is democratically elected government. The problem is he has no power. Kayanai is calling the shots and he wants to be the President. But for Kayani to become President, there is no reason for India to be at the receiving end. Attackers have come from Pakistan. Pakistan has to pay the price.


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  • Marphad
    01-07 04:30 PM
    Because he committed Gujarat Genocide. My response was to the one who mentioned "All terrorirst are muslims".

    Didn't the truth finding commission found the real culprits in Sabarmati issue?

    Yes Nanavati commission found Madresa in Godhra was responsible!

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  • GCKaMaara
    01-07 10:21 AM

    Is this true? Are you just visiting forum just for this and not for your immigration at all? If so, its really bad.

    Refugee_New already got the GC. I have read his some previous posts too and after that I doubt his commitment for the IV goals.

    People responding to him please understand, either we can focus on efforts which will help us getting GC faster or we can continue to discuss this topic.


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  • sc3
    07-14 12:18 PM
    Bear this in mind. We are not opposing because EB2 is getting the number, we are opposing because USCIS arbitrarily changed the law -- without any legislative approval. Remember, they changed the OPT rules and they are now facing lawsuit.

    You seem to be saying that we are petty in making our demands, and also suggestion (I have got personal comments) that we are causing a rift among the team. I say NO. We are not causing the rift. You did that, we are just highlighting our plight.

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  • validIV
    06-25 02:26 PM
    Your second point of buying 3-4 homes with 20% down each and building equity on rent is the classic strategy to head into multiple foreclosures at once. This was the exact thinking that got so many real estate speculators in deep whole. Show me a single major city that has good amount of jobs (Bay area/Boston/Seattle) and where the monthly rent covers the monthly mortgage payment+property tax+home insurance. If that were the case all these homeowners would not be underwater, they would just give their houses on rent!

    I am not foreclosed and neither is anyone I know. Who do you know is foreclosed? Were they smart or stupid in their investment? How much did they put down? Did they crunch the numbers and do the math?

    You do not invest without a plan to cover all scenarios and you definitely do not invest beyond your means. The people that caused the meltdown and caused foreclosures couldnt afford the property to begin with. Is that you? Do you fit into that category? If so, do not buy.


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  • abcdgc
    12-27 01:06 AM
    Thats a bit like asking one's father to explain the actions of Josef Fritzl.

    Why are you so obsessed with Jews? No reason to go in circles trying to obfuscate the subject.

    Are you not from Pakistan? Why are you asking others to explain the reason why Pakistani Prime Minister/Foreign Minster and ISI is doing what they are doing? Shouldn't you be the one to explain why they are doing all this drama? Why are you asking others to explain why your country is behaving erratically?

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  • Macaca
    02-27 08:14 AM
    A Republican Purge on K? (

    John Feehery has left the Motion Picture Association of America to start his own lobbying firm, the Feehery Group. Feehery, 43, joined the movie lobby with great fanfare in 2005 to help silence sotto voce attacks by congressional Republicans, then in the majority, on the group's chief executive, former congressman Dan Glickman (D-Kan.), and on left-leaning Hollywood. Feehery had been the spokesman for then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and a veteran GOP leadership aide.

    But last month, the MPAA named Seth Oster, a Democrat, as executive vice president for communications, in effect taking part of Feehery's portfolio. My colleague at, Mary Ann Akers, reports that lobbyists worry that the move might presage a citywide purge of Republicans. But Feehery professes no bitterness. "It was a good time for me to start my own business," he said. "It gives me a greater range to do things I want to do." The MPAA will be one of his first clients, he added.


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  • LostInGCProcess
    01-07 05:28 PM
    Anyway, i'll sign off and i won't post any more message in this thread again.

    On page 8 or 9 you said you would not post any more message and still you continue to post !!!! Don't say anything that you can't keep up with.

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  • unitednations
    03-25 07:10 PM
    send it to info at and we can upload it.

    It is a known bug that we could not fix in the forum. Some members are unable to upload files.



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  • mrajatish
    04-09 11:13 AM
    I am all for cleaning the system and reforming H1B - but I oppose an ill conceived half measure such as the one Senator Durbin/Grassley is proposing.

    My main concern is two fold:
    1. Let us assume I am a very bright individual and I am currently in Harvard. If I graduate from Harvard Business School, and I want to join McKenzie, can I do that? Can I ever be a Management consultant in US if I want to (read I as any random Joe who is not US citizen/GC holder)

    2. Can I switch jobs within a couple of weeks if I need to (I refers to someone who works for a good company but perceives opportunities else where) - this is important as my competition (US citizen/GC holder) has no restriction in place for them. This is also important during recession when I might be a valuable asset to another company but the company cannot afford to wait.

    My point is: definitely prevent abuse of the system, but not by putting more shackles on the hapless employee. Give the employee freedom to move anywhere for a certain period of time (could be 3 yrs renewable 2 times as per current H1b) and have strict penalties if this employee overstays visa etc.

    Additionally, if employers abuse the system, send them to jail right away (and have whistle blower immigrant status protection). Make employers more accountable than they are today.

    Just my 2 cents.....

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  • shensh
    04-09 10:03 AM
    There are many big companies that depend completely on consultants for their software projects. Example Sony, Boeing... If this applies to existing H1bs then their projects will suffer a great loss.

    ERP softwares basically are implemented by consulting firms .Then all big companies including Oracle,SAP cannot implement their applications anywhere as they have to hire people on their own to implement.All ERP implementations can be treated as consulting.This is going to be a big mess.

    I don't think this bill is going pass successfully.
    Not true. For many software development projects, it really doesn't matter whether the developers are located in US or in India. What they need onshore is project/program managers or IT architects, who they can hire directly via H1-B not via consulting firm. For those H1-Bs the new bill's restrictions will not be a problem.

    If this bill passes, I can see that many US employers start hiring the highly-valued onshore consultants as their employees via H1-B, and let the rest stay in consulting firm either onshore or offshore. It is so-called "insourcing" which is very popular among big firms nowadays. So this bill is going to be bad for H1-B based consulting firms, good for US employers and future H1-B workers (either new or extended). In the short term though, it is not going to help US workers much, because most companies would ship onshore consulting jobs offshore rather than hiring US workers to fill them. However, in the long term it prevents "some" consulting firms (bodyshoppers) from abusing H1-B workers which benefit us all. I expect this bill will also ease the EB retrogression in the future because there will be less H1-Bs waiting in queue especially from India or China.


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  • CreatedToday
    01-06 04:31 PM
    If this senior Hamas leader could send his son as a suicide bomber to kill innocent civilians in Israel, what stops him from using others' kids as shield?

    If its true, why media is not showing how Hamas is hiding behind schools and mosques? Its a big lie and this is what they say in order to justify the killing. Also what rockets you are talking about? Those 7000 rockets that killed 4 people? I agree Hamas must stop their mindless and useless rocket attack.

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  • WaitingForMyGC
    08-06 05:05 PM
    Hi All, To avoid forgetting important occassions in your life and my wishing you on these occasions,
    I have come up with this "Generic Wish/Sorry template" .Now do not complain that I have not wished or said sorry to you on these occassions. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --- Please read this mail everyday
    Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! We Wish you many may happy returns of the Day to you!

    Is today your anniversary? Happy Anniversary! We wish many such beautiful and happy year of togetherness for both of you!

    Is today a birthday of any of your family member? Happy birthday to "........................." (Write name of your family member)

    We Wish you many may happy returns of the Day to "........................." !(Write name of your family member)

    Is today an important festival? Happy "..............." to you and your family. (Please enter name of the festival here)

    -Congratulations on your son/daughter becoming potty trained.

    -Congratulations on your son/daughter's (1st ...234,567,980 th) step.

    -Congratulations on your son/daughter passing (First..tenth) grade with grade (A.....F).

    -Congratulations on your promotion. -Sorry to hear that your junior got double-promotion and he is your boss now.

    -Congratulations to your Junior on his promotion(He is my kid's friend)

    -Sorry to hear that your project got over.

    -Sorry to hear about your unpaid bills.

    -Congratulations..on getting new project it long term ?

    -Sorry to hear that your project got cancelled.

    -Congratulations on getting new project it long term ?

    -Congratulation this project did not got cancelled.

    -Congratulations on your new house.

    -Sorry to hear that your loan-mortgage got rejected.

    -Congratulations on your 2nd baby.

    -Sorry to hear that you are expecting 3rd one.

    -Sorry to hear that they are twins.

    -Congratulations..your wife got the JOB.Congratulations Bhabhiji !!!.

    -Sorry to hear that you are still paying her shopping bills.Once again..Congratulations Bhabhiji !!!.

    -Sorry to hear that your son/daughter did not get the scholarship for college.

    -Congratulations..your son/daughter doesn't want to go to college.

    For coming years(another 25-30 yrs)...
    - Sorry to hear about your premature retirement(VRS)/suspension.I know all those corruption charges are false and politically motivated.How long is the jail term ? Get on your feets again.

    -Sorry to hear that you fell in the bathroom and fractured your back/legs..get well soon.

    - Sorry to hear that your daughter is not willing to run away and she wants to have arrange marriage.Big blow to your already depleted bank balance.I hope you saved enough when working (If corruption charges were to be true). Have a big heart..old man.

    -Sorry to hear that you had heart attack..but just to make you feel good..cancer is more painful and so is Piles.You should consider yourself lucky that you had heart attack. Get well soon...stand upright.

    -Sorry to hear that you lost your mojo(vitality) completely.Don't try blue pill(Viagra) since you are a heart patient. Just to humor you; many of my old age friends use blue pill just not to pee on their legs. :-)

    -Congratulations..I heard you got it back although for couple of minutes. How was the feeling ??Did you make most out of it?

    -Sorry to hear that you wasted it and got a stress fracture in your hand due to that.

    -Sorry to hear about your wife's arthritis. Now she may not be able to walk alongside you in all the ups & downs of your life.

    -Sorry to hear that your daughter-in-law is misbehaving with you...may God forgive her and give her good sense.

    -Sorry to hear that you haven't eaten for days now, please find attached photographs of delicious dishes. Please do not open dessert attachment if you are diabetic or non-vegetarian one if you are a vegetarian. Please reply how were they? Better than nothing..right?

    -Sorry to hear that everyone has come to know about your illicit affair and illegal child...May God forgive you.I know it was just a fling, a one-time thing..went wrong.Take proper care/precautions next time.

    - Sorry to hear that your son has thrown you out of your house ..get back soon.

    -Sorry to hear that your illegal child has also kicked you out of his illegal encroached house.

    -Sorry to hear he also disowned you.(Tell him that he is illegal and not you..he cannot disown you , you can).

    -Sorry to hear about fight between your wife and your mistress(mother of your illegal child) one is ready to keep you with her( not even your keep). ..Don't lose your heart ..buddy.

    -Sorry to hear that you had a heart attack(major) again( told you not to try blue pill and stop seeing your mistress) and you ran out of your insurance..get well soon..please TRY.

    -Congratulations..old man.You survived 3rd heart attack.You are awesome.

    -Sorry to hear about your sad demise(due to cold-flu)..sorry friend that I don't remember your name(I am running out of memory- just to humor you ...yesterday( or was it 5yrs back) I forgot my wife's name and called her Kareena Kapoor :-) .But were you the one with heart problem or cancer ? Though..none matters now..but nonetheless you were a great man..a great friend..a true admirer of beauty .. father to many(knowns and unknowns)..a man of impeccable character..may GOD rest your soul in peace.Please do not care to reply.Take rest.See yaa soon.


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  • Macaca
    12-23 09:42 PM
    Congress Cool on Tech Issues in 2007 ( Patent reform, security, Internet access and other topics are expected to gain a higher profile next session PC World, Dec 23, 2007

    No one is calling 2007 a banner year for the technology industry in the U.S. Congress.

    Congress passed a handful of bills on many tech vendor and trade group wish lists, but in several cases, they represented partial victories.

    "This Congress so far has a record of neglect on technology issues," said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, whose party lost the majority in Congress in the November 2006 elections.

    Goodlatte isn't an impartial observer, but members of the tech community also acknowledge that Congress has been slow to act on tech issues this year. Still, not everyone was expecting great things from a Congress that had to reorganize after the change in party control.

    It's too early to judge this session of Congress, which continues through 2008, said Kevin Richards, federal government relations manager at cybersecurity vendor Symantec. "I think we have a lot of interest [from lawmakers], and this has the potential to be a tech-friendly Congress," Richards said.

    Members of the tech community point to some success in Congress this year:

    Congress passed the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act, which became law in August. TheAmerica Competes Actallocated US$43.3 billion for research and math- and science-education programs.

    Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Peru in December, the only such agreement approved this year. Some labor and environmental groups opposed some free-trade agreements, but the pacts are "imperative" for tech vendors, said Sage Chandler, senior director of international trade for the Consumer Electronics Association.

    The CEA, which launched a campaign against "protectionism" in October, said every trade agreement is important to its members. Upcoming free-trade agreements coming before Congress include Columbia, Panama and South Korea. A handful of CEA members are already doing business in Peru or would like to and between 2000 and 2006 U.S. consumer-electronics exports to Peru increased by 12 percent, Chandler said.

    "Without the ability to sell into foreign markets and get components from foreign markets, our companies aren't going to be able to employ Americans," she said.

    Some successes the tech community can point to, however, were partial victories:

    Congress, in late October, passed a seven-year extension to a moratorium on access taxes and other taxes unique to the Internet. But many tech groups and lawmakers had pushed for a permanent tax ban, arguing that it was needed to foster Internet and broadband growth.

    Opponents of a permanent ban successfully argued that it would remove a check on Internet service providers attempting to include other services, such as VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol), in the tax ban. In addition, some lawmakers argued that a permanent ban could cripple the ability to pay for services.

    But some lawmakers argued Congress should've gone farther. The House of Representatives, which in the past has approved permanent extensions, this year passed a four-year extension and "had to have the Senate show them the way to a better seven-year extension," Goodlatte said. The "ultimate goal" should be a permanent tax moratorium, he said.

    The Senate in December passed a one-year extension to a research and development tax credit for U.S. companies. TheTemporary Tax Relief Act, which the House approved Nov. 9, extends the tax credit, which covers 20 percent of qualified R&D spending. But many tech groups have called on Congress to permanently extend the R&D tax credit, which has been extended a dozen times since 1981.

    Supporters of an expanded tax credit argue that the U.S. has fallen behind other nations in its R&D support. Once the most generous with R&D tax breaks, the U.S. by 2004 fell to 17th out of the 30 nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    But the tax break comes with a price tag of about $7 billion a year, and Congress has been reluctant to extend the program long term. Some government watchdog groups have called the R&D tax credit corporate welfare.

    Some tech groups have said the R&D tax credit helps keep high-paying tech jobs in the U.S. And companies have a hard time mapping out their R&D when the credit keeps expiring, said Symantec's Richards. "The on-again, off-again nature of the credit makes it impossible for companies to do the long-term planning that's needed," he said.

    In many other areas, Congress failed to act on legislation many tech groups called for:

    Patent reform: Many large tech companies said their top priority was for Congress to pass a wide-ranging patent reform bill that would make it more difficult for patent holders to sue and collect massive infringement awards. The House of Representatives in September passed thePatent Reform Act, which would allow courts to limit patent damage awards if a patented invention is a small piece of a larger product. Among other things, the bill would also allow a new way to challenge patents within one year after they've been granted.

    Supporters of the bill, including Microsoft and IBM, argued that it's too easy for patent holders who have no intent of marketing an invention to sue large companies and collect multimillion-dollar damages when a small piece of a technology product is found to infringe. "There are people who now just hold patents to sue and not to innovate," said Symatec's Richards.

    Another important piece of the bill would limit where patent holders could file lawsuits, Richards said. Many patent holders file lawsuits in the patent-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, even though neither the patent holder or the accused infringer is located there.

    Opponents, including pharmaceutical companies, some small technology vendors and inventors, have successfully stalled the bill in the Senate. They say the bill severely weakens the power of patents.

    Senate leaders say they will tackle the bill again in January. Opponents will continue to pressure lawmakers, said Ronald Riley, president of the Professional Inventors Alliance, which has enlisted the support of some labor unions.

    Opponents have talked about finding candidates to run against lawmakers who support the bill, Riley said. "We will have an all-out onslaught on the legislation," Riley said. "We think we will have to make an example of some legislators."

    H-1B visas: Another top priority of many tech vendors has been an expansion of the H-1B visa program for skilled foreign workers. The current yearly cap is 65,000 visas, with exceptions for an additional 20,000 graduate students, but in recent years, the cap has been filled before the year begins.

    Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testified before a Senate committee in March, saying the U.S. should not shut out talented workers. "We have to welcome the great minds of this world, not drive them out of this country," Gates said. "These employees are vital to American competitiveness."

    But U.S. tech worker groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) have opposed a higher H-1B cap, arguing that companies use the program to hire foreign workers for less money than unemployed U.S. workers would receive. An H-1B increase to 115,000 was part of a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate, but that bill stalled over a contentious debate about illegal immigration.

    Data breaches: A handful of data breach notification and cybercrime bills stalled as Congress focused on other issues. The House approved two antispyware bills, one that created penalties of up to five years in prison for some spyware-like behavior. But the Senate didn't act on the bills, in part because there are concerns that the second spyware bill would preempt tougher state laws.

    Net neutrality: Many consumer groups and Internet-based companies continued to call on Congress to pass a net neutrality law, which would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or slowing competitors' Web content. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has included some net neutrality rules in an upcoming spectrum auction, and both Verizon Wireless and AT&T have recently pledged to allow outside content and devices on their mobile-phone networks.

    Congress has also examined tougher penalties for copyright infringement, but hasn't moved legislation forward. With the change in party control, some things have been delayed, and "that was fine with us," said Art Brodsky, spokesman for Public Knowledge, a consumer-rights group that has opposed tougher copyright penalties.

    Some observers expect Congress to be more active on tech issues in 2008. It will be an election year, and it will be hard for controversial legislation to move forward, but many tech issues aren't partisan, Goodlatte said.

    Passing some tech-related legislation would show some progress, he said. "I would think that the Democratic leadership, in the miserable lack of success they've had in passing legislation this year, would be looking for a new approach in the new year," he said.

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  • ilwaiting
    06-01 09:00 AM
    I'm confused in the first place, How a public telivision channel like CNN allows to air this show. I'm sure there would have been stuanch critizicism for this show even in the political arena. His offending and never ending seemingly senseless talk on immigration aims at the Congress and even President on their reforms. Agree that we are in a world of freedom of speech but this is crossing the limits.

    The problem is most often the information and numbers given on this show are not actual facts and often exaggerated and misleading. The info looks most likely derived from FAIR or NumbersUSA or Heritage foundation or one of their associates.

    The congress, the president and everyone is crazy. Except Lou Dobbs. Lou Dobbs is the only one who is doing the sane talk.

    Read the smart Einstein-like man's column here:

    The whole world is crazy except me (

    I will post my own editorial on his editorial on CNN, once I get a minute. In the mean time, seriously, take a drink or two before you read this contribution from Lou Dobbs.

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  • Macaca
    12-29 08:19 PM
    Troubling China-India ties ( By Brahma Chellaney | Japan Times

    The already fraught China-India relationship appears headed for more turbulent times as a result of the two giants' failure to make progress on resolving any of the issues that divide them. Earlier this month, during the first visit in more than four years of a Chinese leader to India, the two sides decided to kick all contentious issues down the road. Instead, Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to expand bilateral trade by two-thirds over the next five years.

    But the trade relationship is anything but flattering for India, which is largely exporting primary commodities to China and importing finished products, as if it were the raw-material appendage of a neocolonial Chinese economy. To make matters worse, India confronts a ballooning trade deficit with China and the dumping of Chinese goods that is systematically killing local manufacturing.

    The focus on trade even as political disputes fester only plays into the Chinese agenda to gain bigger commercial benefits in India while being free to inflict greater strategic wounds on that country.

    India-China relations have entered a particularly frosty spell, with New Delhi's warming relationship with Washington emboldening Beijing to up the ante through border provocations, resurrection of its long-dormant claim to the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, and diplomatic needling. After initially seeking greater cooperation to help dissuade New Delhi from moving closer to the U.S., Beijing shifted to a more-coercive approach following the mid-2005 U.S.-India defense framework agreement and nuclear deal.

    Last year relations sank to their lowest political point in more than two decades when Beijing unleashed a psychological war, employing its state-run media and nationalistic Web sites to warn of another armed conflict. The coarse rhetoric of the period leading up to the 1962 Chinese military attack also returned, with the Chinese Communist Party's broadsheet, People's Daily, for example, berating India for "recklessness and arrogance" and asking it to weigh "the consequences of a potential confrontation with China."

    Since then, Beijing has picked territorial fights with other neighbors as well, kindling fears of an expansionist China across Asia.

    The only area where India-China relations have thrived is commerce. But the rapidly growing trade, far from helping to turn the page on old rifts, has been accompanied by greater Sino-Indian geopolitical rivalry and military tensions, resulting in India beefing up defenses. Tibet remains at the core of the Sino-Indian divide. While Chinese damming of international rivers has helped link water with land disputes, the 30-year-long negotiations to settle territorial feuds have hit a wall and gone off on a tangent.

    Little surprise a 20-fold increase in trade in the past decade to $60 billion has yielded a more muscular Chinese policy. In fact, the more China's trade surplus with India has swelled � jumping from $2 billion in 2002 to almost $20 billion this year � the greater has been its condescension toward India.

    Trade in today's market-driven world is not constrained by political disputes or even strained ties, unless artificial political barriers have been erected, such as through sanctions. The China-India relations actually demonstrate that booming trade is no guarantee of moderation or restraint between states. Unless estranged neighbors fix their political relations, economics alone will not be enough to create good will or stabilize their relationship.

    Yet ignoring that lesson, China and India have left their political rows to future diplomacy to clear up, with Wen bluntly stating that sorting out the border disputes "will take a fairly long period of time." On the eve of his visit, Zhang Yan, the Chinese ambassador to India, publicly acknowledged that, "China-India relations are very fragile and very easy to be damaged and very difficult to repair."

    Even as old rifts remain, new issues are roiling relations, including Chinese strategic projects and military presence in Pakistani-held Kashmir and a new policy by China (which occupies one-fifth of the original princely state of Jammu and Kashmir) to depict the Indian-administered portion of that state as de facto independent. It thus has been issuing visas to residents there on a separate leaf, not on their Indian passport. It also has stopped counting its 1,600-km border with Indian Kashmir as part of the frontier it shares with India.

    In less than five years, China has gone from reviving the Arunachal Pradesh card to honing the Kashmir card against India. Thanks to China's growing strategic footprint in Pakistani-held Kashmir, India now faces Chinese troops on both flanks of its portion of Kashmir. Indeed, the deepening China-Pakistan nexus presents India with a two-front theater in the event of a war with either country.

    China is unwilling to accept the territorial status quo, or enter into a river waters-sharing treaty as India has done with downriver Bangladesh and Pakistan. Yet it wants to focus relations increasingly on commerce, even pushing for a free-trade agreement. With the Western and Japanese markets racked by economic troubles, the Chinese export juggernaut needs a larger market share in India, the world's second fastest-growing economy.

    But the current lopsided trade pattern � presenting a rising India as an African-style raw material source � is just not sustainable. China's proven iron-ore deposits, according to various international estimates, are more than 2 1/2 times that of India. Yet China is conserving its own reserves and importing iron ore in a major way from India, to which, in return, it exports value-added steel products. As India ramps up its own steel-producing capacity over the next five years, China will have dwindling access to Indian iron ore.

    At present, China maintains nontrade barriers and other mechanisms that keep out higher-value Indian exports, such as information technology and pharmaceutical products; it exports to India double of what it imports in value; it continues to blithely undercut Indian manufacturing despite a record number of antidumping cases against it by India in the World Trade Organization; and its foreign direct investment in India is so minuscule ($52 million in the past decade) as to be undetectable. Such ties amount to lose-lose for India and win-win for China.

    As if to underline that such unequal commerce cannot override political concerns, India has refused to reaffirm its support for Beijing's sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan. India had been periodically renewing its commitment to a "one China" policy, even as Beijing not only declined to make a reciprocal one-India pledge. But in a sign of the growing strains in ties, Wen left for his country's "all-weather" ally, Pakistan, with a joint communique in which India's one-China commitment was conspicuously missing.

    Growing Chinese provocations have left New Delhi with little choice but to play hardball with Beijing.

    Brahma Chellaney is the author of "Asian Juggernaut" (HarperCollins USA, 2010).

    12-30 07:11 PM
    Judgment that risks tainting democracy ( By VINAY SITAPATI | The Hindu

    One thousand three hundred and twenty days after he was first arrested, Binayak Sen has been sentenced to life imprisonment for sedition against the Indian state. Narratives on his guilt portray him as an �intellectual� coordinating Naxal attacks in the red corridor, just as narratives on his innocence are of a sainted doctor fingered by a vengeful state. But the only narrative that really matters is the legal case against him, and this in turn hinges on three distinct legal questions: Is the evidence against Dr. Sen enough to convict him? Are the laws applied to him fair? And finally, is the maximalist sentence (life imprisonment) justified?

    Around a single event

    The evidence against Dr. Sen centres on a single event. He is accused of having met a jailed Naxalite, Narayan Sanyal, 33 times and carried letters from him to a Naxalite, Piyush Guha. But Dr. Sen met Sanyal in Raipur Central Jail with the permission of the Chhattisgarh police; the jail superintendent who supervised the meetings told the Raipur sessions court that no letters were exchanged. At the other end of the �crime�, Piyush Guha did not name him when he appeared before a magistrate. He is alleged to have implicated Dr. Sen while in police custody. But this is legally barred from being weighed as evidence, since all custodial confessions are presumed tainted with torture.

    The central allegation against him is therefore tenuous at both ends. Other attempts to link him to Naxalites are individually trivial (or downright dubious, like an unsigned letter from the CPI-Maoists allegedly found in his house, but which is not part of the official seizure memo). But taken together they have managed to convince Justice B.P. Verma of Dr. Sen's role in aiding and abetting Naxal groups.

    The second concern is the fairness of the laws used against Dr. Sen. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (Sedition) is a colonial-era law that has been previously invoked against Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Since it is a serious offence with the possibility of life in jail, in the 1962 case of Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar the Supreme Court limited the definition of sedition to the �tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence.� Dr. Sen is convicted for acting as a letter courier between Naxalites; it is questionable if this �act� falls within the definition of sedition.

    The other laws that Dr. Sen has been convicted under, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, make illegal a wide variety of actions that �support� unlawful activities: taking part in meetings or harbouring a Naxalite. These laws have been invoked against grain merchants and cloth traders who unwittingly sold their wares to Naxalites. Taken together, what all these laws do is to broaden the scope of what �guilt by association� means. Perhaps this is understandable in a State where Maoists are present in half of its 18 districts and requires an army of civilian supporters to sustain a war under forested cover. But fashioning a blunt legal tool to go after an elusive enemy enhances the risk of snaring innocents.

    The final concern

    The Congress party has declined to comment on the judgment, invoking the prerogative of an independent judiciary. It is no one's argument that the decision was politically determined. But political abuse includes the fairness of the laws formulated by the political class for judges to impose. After all, judicial independence must also consider the quality of laws that the Raipur sessions court had to enforce, and those laws define �guilt by association� so broadly that they blur the line between innocent and guilty.

    The final concern is that of punishment. Dr. Binayak Sen has been sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to commit sedition. Sentencing ranges from three years to life in jail. Justifying the use of the maximalist sentence, Justice Verma's Hindi judgment points to �the way that terrorists and Maoists are killing ... paramilitary forces � and innocent Adivasis.� But surely there is a difference between CPI (Maoist) General Secretary Ganapati, a man with much blood on his hands, and a mere courier of letters between Naxalites? Even if Dr. Sen is guilty as charged, that charge is not of violence � something he has repeatedly spoken out against. To club varying actions together defeats the purpose of flexibility in sentencing, which is after all to permit the judge to recognise degrees of motivations and culpabilities.

    The Raipur sessions court verdict is only the quarterfinal. Indian law affords Dr. Sen one automatic right to appeal, and another at the discretion of the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, given the visible disparity between the quality of allegations against him and the repercussions, the judgment is sure to provoke an outcry, if the national and international outrage over his two-year long arrest without bail is any indication (already Amnesty International has criticised the verdict).

    The outcry will reverberate beyond one man. In 2009, a non-violent critic of the state was held guilty of sedition and sentenced to a lengthy spell in prison. That man's name is Liu Xiaobo, and the international focus on him dims the mandarin equivalent of India Shining. While the specific �crimes� of the 2010 Nobel Prize winner vary from those of Dr. Binayak Sen, the life imprisonment given to the Chhattisgarh doctor will surely discredit the justifiable struggle against Naxalism much as Mr. Liu's incarceration discounts the distance China has travelled since Tiananmen Square. Apart from the irreparable harm to the life of an individual and his family, the judgment risks tainting Indian democracy itself.

    The writer is a doctoral student working on law and politics in India

    Munna Bhai
    07-08 10:16 PM
    In Manu's case..he had no choice, but to mention he was on H1 with those companies in that period,but he dint have paystubs/W2's with them..

    this AOS is a nightmare if we have any grey areas with our case..until we get the card into our hands..!!

    He can always get a letter from that company stating that he was on vacation. There is no where it is written that H1b has to work everyday.

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