Saturday, July 9, 2011


images CSCO : Run to the bank ! csco. Its Prospects (CSCO, ALU,
  • Its Prospects (CSCO, ALU,

  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-05 01:28 PM
    Great going folks :D
    Here is one (paraphrased from another):

    Hello, and welcome to the USCIS Hotline. If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2. If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6. If you are paranoid-delusional, hit your head with the handset. If you have COLTS, hang up and check your LUD here (

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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:51 PM
    Examining the Maoist Resurgence in Andhra ( 1210) By Uddipan Mukherjee | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    If two recent events are compared, then they would ostensibly appear to be disconnected. Nevertheless, they ought to evoke considerable interest because of the actual linkage between them. The first is Swaranjit Sen, former Director General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh, is to be anointed as the vice-chancellor of the troubled Osmania University, which of late has been a hotbed of Telangana agitation. His appointment would be a historic occasion since for the first time an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer will be a vice-chancellor in the state.1 Second, the Maoists called for a bandh in the Andhra-Orissa border area on December 22. Their agenda was to protest against the killing of five of their comrades in an encounter by the elite Andhra Greyhounds personnel at Cheruvuru near Korukonda in Chintapalli mandal.2 These two events represent different facets of the Maoist movement in Andhra. And the connection is manifested when it is remembered that Sen is known in the state for his ‘hard line’ image against the Maoists.

    On one hand, Sen’s appointment shows that the police force in Andhra commands significant confidence among the political leadership. That is why an IPS officer has been entrusted with task of sorting out a trouble-torn university. For instance, media reports say that the Andhra government has, in principle, approved a suggestion by Governor Narasimhan to nominate senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or IPS officers to head the three strife-torn universities of Osmania, Kakatiya and Andhra.3

    On the other hand, these events also portray the fact that the Maoists are trying their best to reclaim lost territories. Hence, a more severe skirmish is in the offing in Andhra Pradesh. In fact, the Maoists have a grandiose plan to create ‘liberated zones’ in the state.4 Moreover, it is not at all unlikely that the left-wing ultras are not aiding and abetting the Telangana movement and would continue to do so in future through their frontal student and other mass organisations.

    To corroborate, quite recently, the Telangana Praja Front (TFP) was floated by Maoist sympathiser and balladeer Gaddar. Reportedly, he has demanded that the central government honour its commitment by immediately tabling a bill in parliament for the formation of Telangana.5 Gaddar’s actions, though in the garb of democracy, needs to be conceived as a covert move of the insurgents. Moreover, when some Telangana groups have already warned of a 'bloodbath' if the Sri Krishna Commission makes no recommendation for the formation of Telangana state by December 31 2010, the inherent liaison between these militant pro-Telangana groups and the Maoists simply cannot be rejected outright.

    Against this backdrop, Gaddar’s TFP, acting as an open party to subvert the democratic processes of the state, is basically what the outlawed outfit wants or rather badly needs. It is a natural tactical belief of the Maoists that overt military acts in the Andhra-Orissa border region can be effectively compounded with mass agitations around Hyderabad to weaken the existing political structures of Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, when the issue is as emotive as Telangana, the rebels do have a solid ground from which to launch their tactics.

    There is another reason to believe that the ongoing agitation for a separate Telangana state may have a Maoist ‘hand’. There are allegations of extortion against Telangana activists which seem to follow the ‘extortion regime’ of the Naxalite movement in Andhra.6 Pro-Telangana activists believe that taking donations to propel the movement forward is a reasonable step. However, Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan asserted in the state assembly that there is heavy extortion involved in the Telangana movement. Furthermore, there have been allegations that local leaders were collecting huge amounts to the tune of Rs. 10,000 to 20,000 from businessmen, government employees, contractors and others to conduct even cultural programmes.7 This is quite interesting considering the fact that this is a standard modus-operandi of the Maoists to garner finances.

    Operating from their headquarters at Abujhmar in Chattisgarh, the Maoists are essaying into other states. Most importantly, along with the historically rebel-dominated district of Srikakulam, the districts of Vizianagram, Vishakhapatnam, East Godavari and Khammam are the disturbed areas of Andhra Pradesh. Khammam shares a long border with Chhattisgarh whereas the other districts are contiguous with Orissa.

    The Maoists are now celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) and hence have taken up a month-long recruitment drive in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattishgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Their party spokesperson Gudsa Usendi and Dandakaranya special zone military commission in-charge Sudhakar said that the 10th anniversary of the PLGA, which began on December 2, will continue till January 2, 2011. They proclaimed that during the period, revolutionary propaganda, processions, meetings and rallies would be conducted in every village.8

    The Maoists had been physically driven out from Andhra from a law and order point of view almost five to six years back. But in June 2008 at Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district of Andhra-Orissa boarder, the elite greyhounds suffered casualties at the hands of the Maoists.9 That could be interpreted as the ‘come back’ event for the latter in Andhra. And the present surge in militancy is in sync with that. Additionally, since the Maoists are losing ground in other states, they need to regain their lost forte in their old backyard so as to have an edge in the psychological war with the Indian state.

    In addition, it is quite disturbing for the Maoists not to have a mass base in Andhra since most of their top leadership hail from the very region. Hence, they are trying to cash in on major issues to extract maximum dissatisfaction of the masses towards the political system. Telangana is one such. Along with it, it seems natural that the Maoists may focus on the issue of suicide of farmers too in the foreseeable future through their frontal organisations.

    In this regard, the porous border with Orissa is a major cause of concern for the Andhra authorities. The ultras have bases in the Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts of Orissa that adjoin the Andhra border. There are no border check posts except on the highway and main roads. Furthermore, on both sides of the border the same Kondh tribals live who provide the mass base for the ultras.

    The Andhra government might have won the first phase of the civil war with the Maoists. But the renewed violence in the area portends ominous signals for the future. A far more dangerous future situation was reflected by an opinion poll published by the Times of India on September 28 201010. According to it, a clear 58 per cent of the populace (who were polled) in the Maoist-dominant areas of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa said that Naxalism had actually been good for their area. In Andhra, Khammam was one of the districts where the poll was conducted. Four districts of the Telangana region – Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal – were also chosen.

    Probably the vital aspect of ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of the people in counterinsurgency is yet to be accomplished by the Andhra authorities. And the continued failure to do so would have serious ramifications in the long run.

    “Swaranjit may be first IPS to be Osmania VC (,” December 19, 2010,
    “Maoist bandh in AOB region tomorrow (,” TNN, December 21, 2010,
    “Maoist-hunter top cop to be Osmania University V-C (,” December 19, 2010, DHNS,
    G. Siva, “Maoists plan janata sarkar in AOB (,” TNN, December 9, 2010,
    “Telangana groups observe 1st anniversary of centre’s announcement (,” IANS, December 8, 2010,
    “T activists following extortion line of Naxals? (,” TNN, December 23, 2010,
    “Maoists on a major recruitment drive (,” TNN, December 16, 2010,
    Santosh K. Agarwal, “Maoist Insurgents Hit Back Greyhound Commandos Killing 35 (,” Alarm Bells, July 01, 2008,
    “58% in AP say Naxalism is good, finds TOI poll (,” TNN, September 28, 2010,

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  • micofrost
    01-11 02:13 AM
    Muslim World and Non-Muslim World.

    Allothers saying abt secularism is just BS. I seriously doubt if the secular credentials will ever come from the heart.

    All the muslims are now united. And the ignorant ones are brain washed to become Jihadis.

    Problem is going to be more acute in the next 15-20 yrs. All these so called idiots( Jihadis, my balls), getting killed are leaving behind tonnes of kids. They will become even more fanatic and will go on rampage once they reach their teen age or youth state. How do we stop this cancerous issue is a trillion dollar question. The extent of hatred among these misguided youths have reached such a state, like a mad dog. Only treatment is to wipre them out.
    Unfortunately like cancer, there is no cure to this problem either.

    Countries like Israel, will kill a few muslims, all these false secular credential holding country will raise a hue and cry, and the war will stop. Will they succeed in even stopping the further malignant growth of this evil culture ?

    I honestly think not possible. These homo mullahs, are hiding in the schools thinking its safe to attack the enemy from a UN school compund. And our IV friend, ID" RefugeeNew" is saying Isrel killed innocent kids.

    Wht the f*** these Hamas guys dont openly fight with Israel. A terrorist organisation, by intimidating the people, was able to form a govt. NEither the govt nor the people who elected them as ovt, has no place in this free loving society or world.

    I would like to ask Mr "RefugeeNew", about any comments on talibanisation of Afganistan. Can he explain abt the "Sharia Law".

    You want to hear my views. Or even the world's opinion on this. "You idiot b****rd".

    2011 CSCO - Cisco Systems Inc csco. B.R. Schultz Model – CSCO
  • B.R. Schultz Model – CSCO

  • mheggade
    07-15 10:35 AM
    <SARCASTIC> Ignorance is Bliss. </SARCASTIC>

    I just hope sanity makes a come back and people will see that the new visa over flow interpretation is advantages to EB3-I.

    OLD over flow interpretation

    EB1 ROW ------->EB2 ROW---------->EB3 ROW.

    New over flow interpretation.

    EB1 ---------------->EB2------------------------>EB3
    (Any chargeability) (Any chargeability) (Any chargeability)

    Only condition is visa should be allotted to the oldest PD in the lateral distribution irrespective of the country chargeability. That's the reason EB2 I and EB C are having same cutoff dates and all EB3 is U. DOS took away the advantage of ROW and gave it to oldest PD in the category.

    With this new interpretation EB3 I dates can make rapid progress and I fail to understand why EB3-I is upset about this.


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  • NKR
    08-06 03:15 PM
    speaking of do you give Dots?

    Send a PM to soni and ask, he/she gave me one.

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  • Stay Patient on CSCO Long

  • Marphad
    01-08 02:28 PM
    All the religeous books were written based on contemporary circumstances. I have a friend named Mansuri, mentioned to me once why muslims don't eat turtles:

    "Few animals with hard shell were not hygenic or dangerous like crocodile. It was difficult to explain each animal separately to common people. So Mohammad advised that animals with hard shell should not be eaten. "

    Another one told by my friend Maqsood:

    "There were lots of cabella wars going on at the time of Mohammad. The prophet allowed to have more than one wives so that those ladies don't go on wrong route like prostitution. "

    Above examples seem acceptable over that time. At today they are not relevant anymore. Some people still want to follow the same words spoken 1300 years before literally without applying a slightest brain. They are abused and misguided by some selfish Mullahs who have their own agenda in life.

    Rather than abusing entire community, need to educate "spoiled kids" how they are misguided in current time. Unfortunately percentage of "spoiled kids" are very high as I mentioned in one of posts before.


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  • hiralal
    06-06 10:58 PM
    to buy another house (if it is not distress property / from auction) just to put it on rent is stupidity ..risk is good if it is calculated take foolish risk is foolishness ..anyway that is me. In this Country land is virtually unlimited !!! demand is low (see immigration ..they give majority GC's to people when they are 50 - 60 years old) and those who are young have smaller families because of high cost of living, way of living.
    to buy a house to put it on rent is big loss as there are millions of houses already competing for renters
    ONE more reason for those who are on H1/ EAD is that 90% of then job postings on DICE and other places ask for only citizens or GC holders.

    2010 CSCO - Cisco Systems Inc csco. CSCO : Run to the bank !
  • CSCO : Run to the bank !

  • lfwf
    08-06 04:19 PM
    If you go strictly by that, then allocating unused EB1 visa numbers to EB2 is also wrong. EB1 visas are meant for an entirely different skill set and job.

    EB2 guys and EB3 guys are at a disadvantage depending on which way you look at it. I guess capturing previous years� unused visa numbers is the only way to go then�

    no those are unused numbers and are "physcially ported" to Eb2 before they can be used, and then to Eb3. the applicant does not jump to the higher category!!!


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  • texcan
    08-05 01:13 PM
    I only read a few posts, but seems like there a lot of moral blasting and blame game going on.

    I am in favor of fair practices, and on that principle everyone has right to speak their mind; irrespective of outcome of this thread, why is everyone fighting with each other ? We are here because of some common cause, and even though we have a common cause, all causes are not common.

    I agree with you Rolling_Flood, this porting option can and actually has created trouble for many people who did not have a way to port priority dates. This is same issuse as "Labor substitution", I am glad labor substitution has been put to rest.

    Rolling_flood, donot get annoyed or angry because of some comments ( everyone has a right to speak as you do). remember the saying " if you have a few enemies; that means you stood up for something some day".

    Please donot kill each other ...let people speak, this is least we can do for each other.
    We are together for a reason, and we are using all reasons we can to fight with each other because we are together..right.
    Please let people speak their thoughts and minds. donot start blame game (mine is bigger than yours)

    Our focus should be on purpose and not get frustrated by process.

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  • GotGC??
    08-07 03:20 PM

    Glad to see you back in the forums!

    Do you have any idea why attorneys strongly discourage their clients to travel after filing 485 but before receiving the receipt notices?

    If you have a H/L visa it may not problem to re-enter US with your visa, but will it affect the 485 filing if you did not have the receipt notice when you traveled outside?

    Once 485 is filed you can leave and re-enter the country if you have H or L visa.

    You don't need to wait for the actual receipt.

    Problem occurs if you leave before august 17th; thinking that lawyer has sent the case when he really hasn't and you were out when ucis receives the package. Eventually; uscis would figure it out and could deny the case becuase of this.

    Also, not wise to leave before august 17th; because if the package gets returned for whatever reason then you need to be here to send it in again and you would have to update with new passport pages with stamps and i-94 card and date of last entry, etc.

    I understand that people have to go out on business but they are unnecessary complications that people are doing.


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  • riva2005
    04-12 01:14 PM
    Its important to understand the root cause for the retrogression. Illegals dont have categories and categories in the EB GCs are there for a reason. It makes a world of a difference for somebody who is EB2 or EB3 if the person was from say.. Bangladesh. If EB2 he is all set if EB3 he will be languishing here. I am EB2 and am in trouble because of CONSULTANTS and yes I have a problem with that.

    Yes, we are all in trouble because of consultants. Nice attitude.

    I can say that I am in trouble because of everyone else in the queue of 500,000 highly skilled H1 and L1 people waiting for GC. Everyone else other than me and my family is causing trouble for me.

    If all others in the queue were to vanish or die somehow,my PD would become current and I can file for 485.

    Isnt that the attitude of IEEE-USA. We are in trouble because of competition from Indian and Chinese professionals.

    They have a problem with Indian and Chinese engineers whether they come here, or dont come here. They have problem with H1B, they have a problem if they dont come here and merely work on jobs in India and China that are outsourced from here to there.

    Just like IEEE-USA has problem with existence of competition, you have problem with the existence of consultants because that sub-community within this community is also asking for Greencards. And your solution is to eliminate competition.

    Consultants can say the same thing...that we are in trouble because of these perm-fulltime jobs holders who stick to one job for 10 years and we have a problem with that.

    How can you justify, with reasonable objective arguments that perm-fulltime jobs holders should be ahead of the queue from consultants and they are more deserving candidates for Greencard than consultants? I am not a consultant myself but I'd like to hear your reasoning behind this. Dont tell me crap that consultants pad their resumes. Everyone does it. Whether its consultants or perm-fulltime jobs holders, and whether its H1B or citizens, EVERYONE who is desperate for a job would pad his/her resume. You would do it too if it meant getting yourself away from filing bankruptcy.

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  • dealsnet
    09-27 02:26 PM
    I wish Mc Cain to win this election. Republican party is good to India, pro-life, do not waste money and support same sex domestic partners. Their moral and cultural values are good. They do not increase taxes. Good for Industry.
    I will support the party not the candidates. They are good for the security for the country. Terrorist are increased in all over the world. But no more attack on American soil. Clinton ignored the security of the country and we saw what happened. That time IT revolution happened. Not because of him the economic bubble occured. But it will happen, if any body is in power that time.


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  • posmd
    07-08 04:56 PM
    Nice to hear you are still in the background UN.

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  • unitednations
    07-09 01:03 PM
    UN..after I read your story.. r so gutsy.. must appreciate you..!!

    Just follow the law. There are lots of protections in it for us.


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  • sri1309
    12-18 05:53 PM
    PLEASE dont post any threads unrelated to immigration here.
    Can the moderators please delete this thread. I see hardly a post a day on important ones like, and loooks like we have time to get into these.. Please..

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  • chintu25
    08-06 09:23 AM
    A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist named Jon complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of His fish and asked how long it took him to catch them."Not very long," answered the Mexican.
    "But then, why didn`t you stay out longer and catch more?" asked Jon.
    The Mexican explained that His small catch was sufficient to meet His needs and those of His family.

    Mr. Berg asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
    "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and spent quality time with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

    Our intrepid Mr. Berg interrupted, "I have a M.B A. from Stanford and I can help you.You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New Jersey! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

    "How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
    "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied Jon.
    "And after that?"
    "Afterwards? That`s when it gets really interesting," answered Jon, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

    "Millions? Really? And after that?"

    "After that you`ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, spend quality time with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends!"


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  • xyzgc
    12-27 12:00 AM
    In modern times, wars between nations are not started in days or weeks. Wars are not based on one event. There is a systematic three stage process to go to war and for a nation to convince the majority of the society/nation that the other guy is pure evil and your mortal enemy. Society in Pakistan is based on their haterade towards Indians. For many years children in Pakistan were taught that Indians are evil, their belief system is barbaric, and their existence means that Islam is in danger. That was the reason some of us saw posts on this forum talking about sati system in Hinduism or some others Pakistanis saying that Hindus are attacking Muslims in India, and then other Pakistanis talking about Modi, VHP and Bajrang Dal. The first step for creating a war involves propaganda within the population of the country that your enemy is evil. Pakistan has been doing this preparation very systematically for sometime.

    Second stage to go to war involves finding a reason after the decision has been made to go to war. In this stage, one has to come up with a reason and then waits for the trigger to create the reason to go to war.

    The third and final stage to go to war involves invoking the trigger, which will create a flash point for the war, and so the war begins. Mumabi was that trigger.

    The reason why I am saying this is, because someone wrote on this form "don't be a war monger". You see, we are not creating a war. The war is being forced on us. To defend oneself is not "war mongering". Our willingness to live in peace and harmony should not become our weakness such that someone openly and deliberately attacks the population of our country. I do not hold any false sense of myth of nationalism hosting the flag. But when war is forced upon us, there is no way we can run away from it.

    For a moment, just imagine, what would have happened if Mumbai attacks were done in China as "Beijing attack", or if Pakistani terrorists would have attacked Iran and they were "Tehran attack" or for that matter an attack on any country in Europe or say US. How will any other country China, Iran, UK, US, France, Germany, and score of other, how will these countries respond to the attacks like Mumbai attack? There is only one way to reply to such attacks. Respond swiftly and with full force. Personally, I believe that 30 days is too late to respond. I believe that response has to come before the ashes of the dead is still hot. Otherwise, justice hasn't served, because justice delayed is justice denied.

    If the war begins, this will be my last post.


    As usual, well-said, we are not war mongering. we are not hate mongers.
    I have very similar thoughts but I could not have articulated it so well.

    Respond swiftly and finish it off because people like you and me get a chance to react and think too much.

    Too much thinking, weighing too many pros and cons creates confusion. When you are confused, you don't act. When you don't act, a fresh wave of terrorist attacks comes in. Terrorists are everywhere - temples, hotels, buses, trains - even your senate (parliament). Then you catch some terrorists .

    Ok, so you caught the one that attacked your parliament. There is a clear evidence, yet the questions remain.
    Should I hang them or should I not hang them?
    If I hang them, will they be martyrs? So what should I do with them? Should I feed them dal chawal or should I feel them dal roti? Ok, now Mufti's daughter is kidnapped, so should I release them, should I not release them?

    You still keep scratching your head. What should I do? Should I do this or should I do that? Pakistan is a nuclear power. Gilani keeps chanting that like mantra, what if there is nuclear war? What if it destabilizes the country further? why not let Pakistan die its own death - its a failed state (no sir, it may be a failed state but there are managing to get all the aid in the world, China is helping them, America is helping them, IMF is helping them, Asia Bank is helping them..they are not going to die anytime, they are walking away scot-free but they are slowly killing you, eating your house like termites - wake up and realize that!!)

    If you have roaches in your house or you have vermin in your farms, do you keep thinking what you should do about them? Exterminate them. Does it mean the roaches will go away? Probably not. But you do your job first and raise questions later. If they come in, you kill them again. you do your job and keep doing it.

    Just my opinion.

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  • gk_2000
    07-30 03:59 PM
    I emailed Sen Hutchinson from Texas to vote NO for the DREAM Act and I called it "Organized and Controlled" amnesty as illegal kids who will get GCs will be able to sponsor their illegal parents for GC after 4 years.

    All the illegals who have kids in college will get get GC's in 4 yrs after their kids pass college while EB3 has to wait for 20 years. This is a joke. Look at the reply from the Sen below:

    On March 26, 2009, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced S. 729, the DREAM Act, which would allow states to offer in-state tuition rates to long-term resident immigrant students. The bill also would allow certain long-term residents who entered the United States as children to have their immigration or residency status adjusted to conditional permanent resident status or permanent resident status. The DREAM Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, on which I do not serve. Should S. 729 come before the full Senate, you may be certain I will keep your views in mind.

    Great work..

    Reminds me of my reply from Barbara Boxer:

    Dear Mr. xxxx:

    Thank you for taking the time to write and share your views with me. Your comments will help me continue to represent you and other Californians to the best of my ability. Be assured that I will keep your views in mind as the Senate considers legislation on this or similar issues.

    If you would like additional information about my work in the U.S. Senate, I invite you to visit my website, Official Website of U.S Senator Barbara Boxer: Home ( From this site, you can send a message to me about current events or pending legislation, access my statements and press releases, request copies of legislation and government reports, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for my constituents. You may also wish to visit THOMAS (Library of Congress) ( to track current and past federal legislation.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate hearing from you.

    Barbara Boxer
    United States Senator

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  • GCapplicant
    09-26 09:52 AM
    It's really too early to pass judgements What will happen if he comes?
    It's sheer poilitics .Immigration discussion is a hot importat topic before election.They can't take chances by supporting this,They have to consider their members first.DEMS major leap after 10 years break.It is going to be good for everyone.

    After election is the main chapter.DOL has already agreed they have wasted visas as per OH Law breaking news recently.

    Be positive that 2009 will help us all.This negative statement will misdirect our thought.We have our EAD ,Atleast thanks for the Fiasco,we filed out 485.

    It's only the visa numbers...if not 1 year,it will be on the road by two years.Cheer up...I myself have negative feelings what will happen to my family future here.I just talk to myself,Whether I have to apply for Canadian PR for back up.It sure does kill our minds.

    Cheer up...We all will be safe by 2009.It will move faster.

    EB3 I 2004 Jul.

    04-15 02:51 PM
    We are mixing too many different aspects of home buying and creating confusion.

    We buy homes, when we have clearly done our home work and know we can afford what we are buying and our incomes are expected to be reasonably stable. Everyone knows this and no one is arguing against the above logic.

    The points of contention were home life vs. apt life, and home as a home vs. home as an investment. I got into this thread to point out how some people are so obsessed about resale value that to them a home is nothing more than a piece of investment which should appreciate with time and be sold off.

    But these topics appear to be rubbing some people the wrong way as they are hurt to discover that there exist people who do not think the way they do. For that reason, I will lay off this topic.

    12-27 06:16 PM
    Of luxury cars and lowly tractors ( By P. SAINATH | The Hindu

    When businessmen from Aurangabad in the backward Marathwada region bought 150 Mercedes Benz luxury cars worth Rs. 65 crore at one go in October, it grabbed media attention. The top public sector bank, State Bank of India, offered the buyers loans of over Rs. 40 crore. �This,� says Devidas Tulzapurkar, president of the Aurangabad district bank employees association, �at an interest rate of 7 per cent.� A top SBI official said the bank was �proud to be part of this deal,� and would �continue to scout for similar deals in the future.�

    The value of the Mercedes deal equals the annual income of tens of thousands of rural Marathwada households. And countless farmers in Maharashtra struggle to get any loans from formal sources of credit. It took roughly a decade and tens of thousands of suicides before Indian farmers got loans at 7 per cent interest � many, in theory only. Prior to 2005, those who got any bank loans at all shelled out between 9 and 12 per cent. Several were forced to take non-agricultural loans at even higher rates of interest. Buy a Mercedes, pay 7 per cent interest. Buy a tractor, pay 12 per cent. The hallowed micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse. There, it's smaller sums at interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.

    Starved of credit, peasants turned to moneylenders and other informal sources. Within 10 years from 1991, the number of Indian farm households in debt almost doubled from 26 per cent to 48.6 per cent. A crazy underestimate but an official number. Many policy-driven disasters hit farmers at the same time. Exploding input costs in the name of �market-based prices.' Crashing prices for their commercial crops, often rigged by powerful traders and corporations. Slashing of investment in agriculture. A credit squeeze as banks moved away from farm loans to fuelling upper middle class lifestyles. Within the many factors driving over two lakh farmers to suicide in 13 years, indebtedness and the credit squeeze rank high. (And MFIs are now among the squeezers).

    What remained of farm credit was hijacked. A devastating piece in The Hindu (Aug. 13) showed us how. Almost half the total �agricultural credit� in the State of Maharashtra in 2008 was disbursed not by rural banks but by urban and metro branches. Over 42 per cent of it in just Mumbai � stomping ground of large corporations rather than of small farmers.

    Even as the media celebrate our greatest car deal ever as a sign of �rural resurgence,� the subject of many media stories, comes the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau. These show a sharp increase in farm suicides in 2009 with at least 17,368 farmers killing themselves in the year of �rural resurgence.� That's over 7 per cent higher than in 2008 and the worst numbers since 2004. This brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 216,500. While all suicides have multiple causes, their strong concentration within regions and among cash crop farmers is an alarming and dismal trend.

    The NCRB, a wing of the Union Home Ministry, has been tracking farm suicide data since 1995. However, researchers mostly use their data from 1997 onwards. This is because the 1995 and 1996 data are incomplete. The system was new in 1995 and some big States such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan sent in no numbers at all that year. (In 2009, the two together saw over 1,900 farm suicides). By 1997, all States were reporting and the data are more complete.

    The NCRB data end at 2009 for now. But we can assume that 2010 has seen at least 16,000 farmers' suicides. (After all, the yearly average for the last six years is 17,104). Add this 16,000 to the total 2,16,500. Also add the incomplete 1995 and 1996 numbers � that is 24,449 suicides. This brings the 1995-2010 total to 2,56,949. Reflect on this figure a moment.

    It means over a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995. It means the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history has occurred in this country in the past 16 years. It means one-and-a-half million human beings, family members of those killing themselves, have been tormented by the tragedy. While millions more face the very problems that drove so many to suicide. It means farmers in thousands of villages have seen their neighbours take this incredibly sad way out. A way out that more and more will consider as despair grows and policies don't change. It means the heartlessness of the Indian elite is impossible to imagine, leave alone measure.

    Note that these numbers are gross underestimates to begin with. Several large groups of farmers are mostly excluded from local counts. Women, for instance. Social and other prejudice means that, most times, a woman farmer killing herself is counted as suicide � not as a farmer's suicide. Because the land is rarely in a woman's name.

    Then there is the plain fraud that some governments resort to. Maharashtra being the classic example. The government here has lied so many times that it contradicts itself thrice within a week. In May this year, for instance, three �official' estimates of farm suicides in the worst-hit Vidarbha region varied by 5,500 per cent. The lowest count being just six in four months (See �How to be an eligible suicide,� The Hindu, May 13, 2010).

    The NCRB figure for Maharashtra as a whole in 2009 is 2,872 farmers' suicides. So it remains the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth year running. The �decline' of 930 that this figure represents would be joyous if true. But no State has worked harder to falsify reality. For 13 years, the State has seen a nearly unrelenting rise. Suddenly, there's a drop of 436 and 930 in 2008 and 2009. How? For almost four years now, committees have functioned in Vidarbha's crisis districts to dismiss most suicides as �non-genuine.' What is truly frightening is the Maharashtra government's notion that fixing the numbers fixes the problem.

    Yet that problem is mounting. Perhaps the State most comparable to Maharashtra in terms of population is West Bengal. Though its population is less by a few million, it has more farmers. Both States have data for 15 years since 1995. Their farm suicide annual averages in three-five year periods starting then are revealing. Maharashtra's annual average goes up in each period. From 1,963 in the five years ending with 1999 to 3,647 by 2004. And scaling 3,858 by 2009. West Bengal's yearly average registers a gradual drop in each five-year period. From 1,454 in 1999 to 1,200 in 2004 to 1,014 by 2009. While it has more farmers, its farm suicide average for the past five years is less than a third of Maharashtra's. The latter's yearly average has almost doubled since 1999.

    The share of the Big 5 �suicide belt' States � Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh � remains close to two-thirds of all farm suicides. Sadly 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. In some the rise was negligible. In others, not. Tamil Nadu showed the biggest increase of all States, going from 512 in 2008 to 1060 in 2009. Karnataka clocked in second with a rise of 545. And Andhra Pradesh saw the third biggest rise � 309 more than in 2008. A few though did see a decline of some consequence in their farm suicide annual average figures for the last six years. Three � Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal � saw their yearly average fall by over 350 in 2004-09 compared to the earlier seven years.

    Things will get worse if existing policies on agriculture don't change. Even States that have managed some decline across 13 years will be battered. Kerala, for instance, saw an annual average of 1,371 farm suicides between 1997 and 2003. From 2004-09, its annual average was 1016 � a drop of 355. Yet Kerala will suffer greatly in the near future. Its economy is the most globalised of any State. Most crops are cash crops. Any volatility in the global prices of coffee, pepper, tea, vanilla, cardamom or rubber will affect the State. Those prices are also hugely controlled at the global level by a few corporations.

    Already bludgeoned by the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), Kerala now has to contend with the one we've gotten into with ASEAN. And an FTA with the European Union is also in the offing. Kerala will pay the price. Even prior to 2004, the dumping of the so-called �Sri Lankan pepper� (mostly pepper from other countries brought in through Sri Lanka) ravaged the State. Now, we've created institutional frameworks for such dumping. Economist Professor K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study of farm suicides in India, says: �The latest data show us that the agrarian crisis has not relented, not gone away.� The policies driving it have also not gone away.

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