From Identity and Violence:
My disturbing memories of Hindu-Muslim riots in India in the 1940s…include seeing – with the bewildered eyes of a child – the massive identity shifts that followed divisive politics. A great many persons’ identities as Indians, as subcontinentals, as Asians, or as members of the human race, seemed to give way – quite suddenly – to sectarian identification with Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh communities. The carnage that followed had much to do with elementary herd behavior by which people were made to “discover” their newly detected belligerent identities, without subjecting the process to critical examination. The same people were suddenly different.
So were their identities really “Hindu” or “Muslim” or were they not? If Sen is right, their religious identities suddenly expanded in size and overpowered all their other identities, which means that they were mutable as opposed to fixed. Identities that can swell can also deflate. This is worth remembering.