On groupism

It's all around us. It permeates the entire human social fabric and is not structured - heirarchical or otherwise. We have managed to divide ourselves into millions of small groups, most of them overlapping and contradicting each other. Religion, language, nationality, colour, state, caste, creed, gender and a zillion other groups and sub-groups. We continue to divide ourselves to more and more minute differences almost to the point that every man becomes a group of one.

Grouping ourselves wouldn't have been too bad, if the groups didn't go to war with each other. Hatred seems to be the unseen motive of division here. Agreed that people differ in their opinions, physique, colour, beliefs, life and many other things. However this does not mean that one set of people is better than the other. An important problem is that we do not stop dividing further. The social structure acts like one of those lower organisms that divide and multiply into huge numbers.

Imagine an India-Pakistan cricket match. Every Indian worth his salt joins in the general Pakistan-bashing. Discussions don't stop at cricket. They talk about the kashmir issue going back upto the partition and why that shouldn't have happened. One thing I have noticed is that when the talk turns to partition, someone or the other is bound to blame and curse M. Gandhi for all our troubles. I don't know if Gandhi was the sole reason for India's independence, but I do believe that the role he played was(is) too big to be swept under the floor.

Coming back to the topic. While the match lasts, everybody (everybody Indian) is equal. Patriotism and national pride are the buzzwords. Once the match ends, national pride is bid goodbye. Somebody (from North India ofcourse) would think that South Indians are pretty messed up in their heads. Boom! Every South Indian would be ready to take up the cudgel to defend his region. References to history and aryans would be drawn to prove the point that India belonged to South Indians.

Meanwhile somebody would start comparing different cities. Which city is cosmopolitan? Which one is more modern than the other? Which city fuels India's economy? Which one is the best? When that conversation appears to peter out, another very important question would arise. We agree that city X is pretty good, but who contributes to its status. Is it the "migrants" (as if they are from a completely different dimension) or is it the "natives"? The so-called Migrants would
claim that they are the cause for the wealth of the city and all the comforts that have come into it. The natives would oppose with a snide - "You destroyed the city. You cause the traffic jams and the security issues".

Do we ever stop? Nope. Never. We have so much time on our hands and so many classification methods to cover. After all, a person's native language can script his attitude and his social status can determine his virtuosness.

1) Notice that I have used "his" in many places. Another example of the groupism embedded into us and our language. :-)

2) It is not hard to believe that the rigid social differentiation we have followed for millions of years has thrown Darwin's "Natural Selection" askew. We have allowed these differences to be the foundation for marriage and other social interaction. In effect we might have prevented nature from mixing and matching the gene pool to create naturally stronger humans. On the other hand, the closed groups would have spread defective and weak genes thoughout the group, thus preventing nature from filtering out the weed. So when the human species withers away, we know one of the culprits to blame.

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