The British came to India as Traders during the reign of the Mughals. But their astute and fertile mind coupled with a touch of genius propelled them as rulers of the biggest empire in history. There is no doubt as historians have written India was the jewel in the British crown.
Robert Clive and the battle of Plessey in 1757 marked the start of the British Raj which ended only in 1947 when they left India. This period of almost 200 years of English rule is something that can not be erased.
Many Indians are apt to dismiss the Raj as an aberration that brought little good to the country. They opine that the British milked India dry for their benefit and left only by compulsion. To an extant this may be true but there were benefits from British Raj that just cannot be dismissed out of hand.
Firstly when the British came to India the Hindus were an oppressed lot and paid obeisance to the Islamic rulers. The jizzia tax was imposed on Hindus and to profess their religion they had to pay this tax in their own land. Despite all talks by some Historians who really are pseudo secularists the Muslim rulers were aliens who came from Central Asia and they ruled with an Iron hand. They did adopt local customs but mass scale conversions were the order of the day coupled with destruction of Hindu temples.