In common parlance, ‘groupism’ carries negative connotations; it has a hint of conspiracy to it. But ‘group formation’ is one of the strongest primordial urges of human beings. Belongingness to a group provides a sense of physical, psychological and emotional security to a person. But such a sense of security does not come for free—most groups demand undivided loyalty from its members. When two or more groups that a person belongs to are not in competition, the question of loyalty becomes secondary. However, sometimes even simultaneous membership of non-competitive groups can become problematic. In such a situation, a Muslim in ‘secular’ India may have to face a question impossible to answer: what are you first, a Muslim ...
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