The partition of India in 1947 saw a substantial chunk of Muslims, a number greater than the entire population of West Pakistan, being left behind in India. Now 60 years since, it is time to reflect on how those we left behind have fared The 2001 census puts the population of Muslims in India at around 154 million as against the population of entire Pakistan at less than 150 million for the same period. It is time to reflect on how the policies followed by our leaders for the last sixty years have helped our own, who for whatever reason could not make it to the other side of the divide. Have we ever stopped and thought that the Indian sub-continent has been inhabited for the last 5000 years by people who were not Muslims? Islam came to this part only 1000 years ago and the Muslims ruled India for more than 600 years. It was due to the decadence that had crept into the Muslim rule that gave way to Sikh and ultimately to British rule. It was 100 years of British rule prior to partition that Muslims were relegated to a second category in trade, commerce, education, ability of governance and learning etc. During the British rule the Hindus were favoured, but that is understandable since the British had wrested power from the Muslims and thus made the Hindus their natural allies. The partition of 1947 gave Hindus a chance to dominate the Indian sub-continent. The Muslims would not have the Hindu domination and hence carved out a homeland of their own. But we have never stopped to imagine the post-partition sufferings and hardships the Muslims of India might have suffered. Have we ever reflected as to how the much-depleted numerical strength of the Muslims that we left behind in India was supposed to fend for itself against a numerically superior and now hostile non-Muslim population? Let us take a peek into the plight of Muslims of India and Kashmir since partition. Kashmir of today is teeming with widows and orphans. Kashmiri Muslims are at the lowest ebb of existence with a poor economy, few jobs, low education, a state of siege with thousands killed and little hope for progress. Whom should they thank for their state of affairs? Gujarat can be a good yardstick as to how the Muslims are faring in the rest of India. In February 2002 there was widespread genocide of the Muslims by the Hindus which was supported by the state government and the police. During the course of the TEHELKA sting, many accused said they preferred burning Muslims alive over other forms of death since cremation is considered unacceptable in Islam. For three days after the February 27 fire on the Sabarmati Express at Godhra in which Hindu activists were killed, Gujarat's BJP government receded from public view and let the armed mercenaries of Hindu organisations takeover. For three days, absolute anarchy reigned. Execution squads were formed, composed of the dedicated cadre of Hindu organisations - the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Bajrang Dal, the Kisan Sangh, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mosques and dargahs were destroyed across the state. Seventy-three Muslim religious places were torched in Ahmedabad alone, 55 in Sabarkantha, 22 in Vadodara. Could the Muslims in other parts of India be faring much better? China could have wrested Hong Kong from UK but it let the agreement run its natural course till 1997. Even after 1997 the Chinese leadership had the political sagacity to retain the separate structure for Hong Kong. Again China has the power to take over Taiwan by force, but is waiting for the right time and till then has followed a policy that has allowed Taiwan to develop into an economic power. Does the leadership of Pakistan bear direct moral responsibility for the plight of the Muslims in India and Kashmir today? The Muslims of India have never featured in their priority list. It appears that neither had the Bengalis till they decided to part ways in 1971. In the same way they seem to be blind while dealing with the Baloch and Pushtuns from FATA today. It is about time that our leadership wakes up E-mail: