The need to have land as an alternative asset

The need to have land as an alternative asset

Chankaya had even listed many ideas on how to select a land or property based on its qualities: Conducive to agriculture, having a perennial source of water, rich in minerals, etc.
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Owning property has become a key investment tool for many people. In villages and rural areas, land translates into the very existence of a person. Indeed, property is eternally named in that age-old adage on the prime requirement for survival: Roti, Kapda aur Makan.

But here, the onus is on food, clothing and, rather than property, on shelter. Chanakya had stressed this centuries ago in the Arthashastra: “Of the excellence of land, affording shelter is best.” (7.11.22).

He had even listed many ideas on how to select a land or property based on its qualities: Conducive to agriculture, having a perennial source of water, rich in minerals, etc.

However, as in the verse above, he liked that land that gives us shelter during tough times. Now how do people like us staying in cities apply this?

Purchase land in smaller places

Having a property in Mumbai is a dream. It’s one of the costliest cities in the world. If you are among the lucky ones who already have a house in Mumbai or another similarly big city, do not stop there.

Purchase a small property in a smaller place as an additional shelter and investment. Why? Simple: If you can build one home in a metro city, it shows you have the capability for creating more, and you should do exactly that as an alternative to your residence.

Build and use it

Now do not just purchase a piece of land and let it lie waste. Build a house on it. Use it from time to time. There are many whom I know who own houses in their villages and small towns but never use them. Someone else does.

It’s important you stay there at least twice a year. Thus, you will get used to a different place. God forbid, in case you have to leave your current city, it will be an easy migration for you.

It’s a security

We never know what the future has in store for us. However, we can at least have a back-up plan for shelter and survival.

If a natural calamity hits our city, at least we can fall back on a reverse migration of sorts. In spite of problems that may crop up, we can say: “At least I have a house for shelter. Let me start again.”

This would especially help in times of economic crises, like the current one.

Chanakya’s strategy was always to “…predict the unpredicted, and prepare an alternative.” Your additional land or property can be this alternative.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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