Yesterday, I got involved in a drunken brawl (Well, they were drunken, and I was brawling)
Four young blades found our approach slope a convivial place to have their beer and snacks. I heard raised voices for a while and then went down to investigate as I usually do.
When I saw them, I said, “Please don’t do this here”. This is usually the cue for a sheepish withdrawal and my gathering up empty bottles and returning to the house.
This time, however, one of them upped the ante by saying, “Oh, this is a public place and you can't order us off”.
I said that, on the contrary, it was my land
And then I asked them where they were from, because they were definitely not locals.

The leader of the pack started ranting: “Oh, we are all locals: You are the outsider, come to cheat us like all of you do” etc. “This can’t be patta land. It must be forest land”.
And his pack also started chorusing his rant.

Obviously I should not have engaged
Obviously I should have retreated home.
But some devilkin must have bitten me and I said, “This forest is here because I grew it after coming here. And if you are local, so am I local by virtue of having been here for 20 years”.

I didn’t shout, but Sonati says that only my voice was audible up at home, so you, gentle reader, be the judge.
I was in the thick of it, and realised, too late, that I ought not to be there.

Then like a deus ex machina, Murugesan from Valagapattu appeared. He told me to go home and not waste time with these chaps. And he told them that since they had finished their business they should go away. 
Ennathukku kathannam?” (“Why shout?”)
A potentially violent situation was defused.
And we saw how easily, how very easily, sentiments can be whipped up by a mob against perceived outsiders, indeed against any perceived other.

There is a normalisation of violence in everyday life which is very scary. Open any newspaper, and almost at random, you will find gratuitous violence.

On a macro scale, this sort of othering is happening everyday in our country, indeed in the whole world, even at the governmental level.
On a micro scale, we experienced it first hand yesterday.