Communalism refers to a situation where individuals identify strongly with their religious, ethnic, or cultural community and prioritize its interests over those of the broader society. This term is often used in the context of religious or ethnic communities, and communal tensions can arise when these identities become the primary basis for social and political organization. Communalism can manifest in various forms, including social, economic, and political dimensions. 

Here are some key aspects of communalism:

1. Religious Communalism: This is the most common form and occurs when individuals prioritize their religious identity over other aspects of their identity. It can lead to tensions between different religious communities and may result in discrimination, violence, or the exclusion of certain groups.

2. Ethnic Communalism: In some cases, communalism is based on ethnic or cultural identities. This can lead to tensions between different ethnic groups, often fueled by historical grievances, competition for resources, or political factors.

3. Political Communalism: Communalism can also take a political form, where political parties or leaders exploit religious or ethnic identities for electoral gains. This can lead to the polarization of communities and the use of identity-based rhetoric to mobilize voters.

4. Social Division: Communalism can contribute to social division and segregation, where individuals from different communities may avoid interaction or collaboration due to deep-seated prejudices or mistrust.

5. Discrimination and Violence: In extreme cases, communalism can lead to discrimination and violence against individuals or groups based on their religious or ethnic identity. This can result in communal riots, conflicts, or even acts of terrorism.

6. Exclusion and Marginalization: Communalism may lead to the exclusion or marginalization of certain communities from social, economic, or political opportunities. This can perpetuate a cycle of inequality and further deepen communal tensions.

7. Identity Politics: Communalism often fuels identity politics, where political or social issues are framed in terms of religious or ethnic identities rather than broader national or civic concerns.

Efforts to address communalism typically involve promoting inclusivity, tolerance, and understanding among different communities. Legal measures may also be implemented to prevent discrimination and violence based on religious or ethnic identity. Additionally, educational initiatives and interfaith dialogue can play a role in fostering harmony and reducing communal tensions. It’s essential to recognize the diversity within societies and promote a sense of shared citizenship that transcends narrow communal boundaries.