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The seductiveness of borders: They have a habit of becoming sacrosanct

India has existed as a cultural entity from pre-historic times, but most people are not conversant with how and when the nation-state took shape, writes T N Ninan

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T N Ninan
Borders have a habit of becoming sacrosanct. Schoolchildren are made familiar with the shape of their country, with geography usually supported by history, language, religion, and (more broadly) culture. This is so even in India, which has existed as a cultural entity, but not as a nation-state, from pre-historic times. Adi Shankaracharya travelled to all corners of the “country” to establish places of devotional learning in the ninth century. At the time, the Pallavas ruled in much of south India and the Gurjara-Pratiharas (including the Chandelas) in the north, but of course there were no passports or visas.

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First Published: Jun 26 2020 | 6:00 PM IST

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