It will not be hard to recall the name of Chandramohan Srilamantula. The master’s degree student of Department of Graphics at the Fine Arts College in Baroda who was jailed for displaying artworks in the faculty evaluation show which a Methodist pastor and a local BJP man found objectionable. The BJP man with his supporters vandalized the show and later filed an FIR against the student for ‘misusing religious symbols and causing religious offence and got him arrested by a nonbailable warrant. The date was 9 May 2007. One year has past after the incident in the life of democratic India. By now, everybody must have forgotten it.However, at the heat of the moment it seemed like the democratic minded citizens of Baroda, Gujarat and India would remonstrate on the issue until they reestablish the dignity of the student and institution. The artists went for a peaceful hunger strike, arranged another campus exhibition on the erotic depiction of religious symbols from the 2500 years history of Indian art as a protest against the vandalism. The university authorities forcefully closed this exhibition and suspended the acting Dean of the Faculty Mr. Shivaji Panikkar for allowing such a vulgar show. National English language media highlighted the issue through editorials, headline news, protest articles and prime time discussions. The reaction looks genuine as it was directly related with the cliché ‘freedom of expression’. Who can deny that our media care so much for this freedom? All over India, artists and citizens came on street to voice their concern. Two committees were formed to probe the incident. One by the MS University and the other by the Governor of Gujarat. None of the reports were officially made public.After the instigators found that, he was no more important for their cause, Chandramohan was released on bail but his results were withheld and not yet been delivered. Recently he had to file a case in the local court to get his results cleared. A broken chap, he returned to his native village in Andhra Pradesh after his release, from where one day he had traveled a long way to Baroda to realize the dreams of his artistic desires. Shivaji Panikkar is still under suspension. Eventually, nothing really changed except Baroda Fine Arts College and Chandramohan’s loss of dignity.Lots of people had spoken about the fascistic tendencies of the present BJP regime of Gujarat. Just think of a similar incident happening in a state like West Bengal. The clamor of the society will bring the ruling party and government on its toe, strong public opinion will be reflected in the local media, known-unknown organisations will start agitation, the opposition parties will start a augmented campaign against the ruling party, the chief minister will be compelled to comment and willingly or non willingly take some action. In Gujarat, nothing of that sort happened. The society in general was deaf and mute; the local media passively supported the vandalism, with the exception of Anhad, no organisation had the guts to stage a significant protest. It is easy to be daring from the TV studio but difficult to be the same on the streets of today’s Gujarat. The opposition party Congress observed the incidence from a safe distance, because they were not sure about how much political mileage they can achieve if they lend support toward the victim. Or maybe deep in their heart, they also approved the vandal acts. The chief minister until today has not uttered a single word on the incident. As if, it was too minor an issue for him to intervene. Nobody, not even the brave and honest Indian media dared to question his and his government’s pathetic silence on the issue. In his Gujarat, there is no space left for people to survive with dignity if they disagree with the neo-national ideology of the ruling party and many righteous citizens of this prosperous state, sadly, has taken it for granted. Surely enough, Mr. Modi is an honorable man!Chandramohan has not returned to Baroda. He knows that there will be no one there to support or defend him and even if there are any, he will be still unsafe. He was the victim from two opposite sides of the establishment. From one side the self-appointed guardians and theoreticians of Hindu culture, who reminds us of the Nazi Storm Troopers, directly victimized him. However, he was also victimized indirectly from another side; an art education system that allows its pupils to freely express their mind but do not teach them the appropriate ways to communicate it. Who are the addressee of this “free expression” so loudly promoted by the media? Our art education system had cocooned the mind of the student artists in their egoistic individual cells and was mostly successful to isolated them from their own people. The artist community in India is almost like an inaccessible sect where non-members are not entitled to enter. Common people are amassing their conceptions standing outside the closed gate of this decorated facade. There are writers and critics who can philosophize to the works of Chandramohan but who are going to listen? Without communication, freethinking is a vague concept.We can urge endlessly on artistic freedom and obscenity, site tons of examples to support our notion and finally, almost like a ritual, say: let the people decide. Are we clear about whom this people are? If we mean the Indian mass, are they experienced and educated enough to form an opinion concerning art issues on their own? Are they aware of the art history of their own country? Do they really care for the art created by the Indian artists? Sadly, all these questions will conclude in negative.Chandramohan’s future as an artist may not be over but is certainly doubtful. Meanwhile the artistic careers of his former classmates and teachers are in an all time high, thanks to the Indian art boom. No one has any more time to waste thinking for this unfortunate young man.
Commercial Real Estate Investment involves buying commercial properties that are bigger than a 4 unit apartment building. It is that real estate investment in which an estate is rented out or sold to make profit through rental income, interests, dividends, royalties, etc. but not for primary residence. It is better for the investors who are beginners in the field to avoid commercial real estate investment strategy. On the other hand, experience investor can go for for this kind of investment as the competition is much less. It is also the best choice asset class for building wealth, you may ask why? This is because there is a limited supply of land; no more land is being created! If you select a real estate with a land component in an area of increasing population and demand, the laws of supply and demand will work in your favour to increase the value of your investment. It provides better leverage than any other asset investment, with the ability to typically borrow at least 80% of the purchase price on house and land packages. 100% lends are possible in some circumstances. It physically exists and everybody needs a roof over their head. Wherever there are people, there will be demand for real estate. Given a healthy national economy, no deflation, an increasing population, or at least increasing demand for property in your chosen investment area, then your investment is liable to increase in value over time. You may have no control over the state of the economy, but I tell you, you can stack the chips in your favour by selecting the right type of property in the right area. Commercial deals take longer than other investments. They take longer to purchase, renovate, and get sold. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind so that you don’t get impatient or rush into a bad decision.Tips to help you succeed in commercial real estate investmentThis investment is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time as I said earlier to buy, renovate and sell, so you need to be patient. Think big and embark on big investment, buy properties at least 10units, remember that the more the unit you buy the cheaper they are per unit. Be prepared to spend a lot of money at first, fight the temptation to be discouraged by this, always have in mind that you can overcome this by borrowing from real estate investment trust or other source as I mentioned in one of my articles. Predictability is required in this investment because it follows a cycle which can be predicted, with predictability you can grow. It also requires consistent and persistent. Learn to analyse properties, know the worth before buying. Before now you suppose to know that commercial real estate is the business of marketing and finance, so you have to be master of finance, learn about mortgages and interest rate, loan programs that are out there. Also you need to be a skilled problem solver for anything going on in the business field in other to excel in this investment. Finally, remember that this business is not static, it changes in strategy and other aspects, so you have to be updated in the latest information, to do this you have to continue with your education/training on this.Thing to look for when buying commercial real estate investment property1. Solid Land Component; Aim for an investment where at least 30% of the purchase price is comprises of the land component. House and land, villa units, townhouses, and low apartment buildings can all fit in the bill. Land is the only limited resource, and that means value for you. If you purchase a unit in a high rise, not only will the value of the building depreciate over time, but what is to stop developers erecting more high-rises and diluting the supply in your market?2. Stable or Increasing Population; Invest in an area with an increasing, or at least stable, population base. Avoid towns which are dependent on a single industry for the bulk of their employment. If the industry folds, so will the tenants.3. Transport, Shops and Public Amenities; Invest in an area close to schools, shops, public transport and good public amenities such as a post office, library and park lands. These are the basic factors that make an area desirable to live in and will help to ensure continued demand for property in that area over the long time.4. Affordable for an Average Worker; Select a median property in a median area, one which is affordable for the average workers. High end real estate is prone to vacancy and busts in recessionary times. Low end real estate is less desirable, can attract a lower quality of tenant, and cost you more in maintenance. Aim for a property that will rent for no more than 40% of the average household income for that area, preferably 30% of the household income.5. Affordability for you, the investor; Try to invest in property that at least pays for itself, that is to say that the rental income will at least cover your mortgage repayments, insurance, maintenance, management fees, local rates and taxes. If this is not possible in your area, consider alternative areas. Otherwise you can still build wealth with negative geared property.Above are few tips on how to succeed and buy a good investment properties. Just bear them in mind when buying commercial real estate properties and I bet you, you cash flow will boom.
Are you someone with a full time job that would like to continue your education but think you don’t have the time, money, or resources? If so have you ever considered distance learning?Distance learning (also known as online education or e-learning) allows anyone to earn a degree online through the internet. Classes are given online as well as tests, and all of your studying can be done at your convenience from your home (or anywhere you prefer if you have a laptop or mobile internet.)What are the benefits of distance learning?You might be asking yourself why anyone would choose to get their education online when they could attend classes on campus in a traditional University environment.Some key benefits of obtaining your degree online that you may wish to consider are:Flexibility – You can arrange classes around your schedule and choose when you want to study. This is particularly helpful to those with kids and/or hectic work schedules.Affordability – You can save money on gas and parking by avoiding having to commute to and from classes. Additionally you may spend less money on books, as much or all of your course material will be made available online. You may also save money on other fees normally associated with college.Availability – Through distance learning you are not limited by your physical location and you can find the school of your choice to attend anywhere in the world. Normally attending an out of state University would require re-location (not to mention higher out-of-state tuition).How to evaluate distance learning colleges and universitiesHere are some steps for evaluating a good distance learning University:1.) Contact the schools you are interested in directly to request more information or speak with a counselor or recruiter. Many people overlook this simple step but the school is really the best source of information about itself.2.) Make sure that the college or university is accredited. This cannot be stressed enough. If you obtain your degree from a non-accredited institution future potential employers may not find your degree worth the paper it’s printed on.3.) Talk to current and former students to get their direct feedback. Ask them about what their experience with the school was like and if they had any regrets. You should also read the real life stories from distance learning graduates.4.) Search for the name of the school you are considering in a search engine like Google, and browse through at least the first 10 pages of results, keeping an eye out for any negative publicity.5.) You can also search for the name of the school on RipOffReport.com and ComplaintsBoard.com. One or even a few complaints may be normal. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone. However if you find dozens of complaints that may be a warning indicator that you need to be careful.In our fast-paced society, and With the many benefits of distance learning it is really a great option for many working adults. Just remember to take care in evaluating online schools as some are better and more qualified than others. Whatever your decision, always be sure its as informed as possible. Good Luck!