Sometimes I feel that many aspects of the British rule in India did do a lot of good despite having adverse effects on India. I am not an expert on history, being a mega failure at the subject in school, but of what little I did understand, I believe the British could have been a bit more lenient in their rule, thereby prolonging their rule in India benefitting both themselves and Indians. For one, they could have given British citizenship to all Indians, and treated them as equals. Indians could have been given equal representation in the parliament.
Gandhi wanted Swaraj for the individual. He wanted every individual to have the fundamental rights of religion, speech, suffrage, action and any other fundamental right I may have forgotten. I feel that if the British Government had been so willing, they could have done a better job of providing these than what our current governments are doing.
India got part of its heritage from the British rule. India's railways, postal servvices, legal and judicial systems, and other government based services are all derived mainly from the British systems. British rule actually helped unite India, which till then was quite fragmented. India is great in its culture and its values, but the British were better off in terms of technology and were good in planning. For example, in their Summer base in Shimla from where they ruled, they had a Fire Extinguishing system long before today's electronic devices were available. The roof of every room had neatly arranged pipelines that had little holes on them which were covered in wax. If a fire were to break out, the wax would get melted and cold water would then fall on the fire from the pipes, thereby extinguishing the fire or bringing the fire under control or atleast giving people a bit of time to get to safety. I would not say they were economically stronger, for if they had not looted a lot of stuff from here, the economic strength of a united India would have been far greater than Her Majesty's treasuries.
In general had the British rule continued (in the way I described above), Our country would have been better developed, economically stronger and a more powerful force and a painful partition need never had happened. In a lighter vein, our cricket team would have consisted of Jayasuriya, Flintoff, Inzi, Akhtar and many others and we would have felt truely happy had they performed well.
Well, that was not to be and I love My motherland no matter what its shortcomings are. There is no point thinging of the ifs and the buts over something that is over and long gone.
I know that many patriots will respond to these radical views in my blog saying that we needed to be independent and all that, but I believe they would have been quite happy under British rule if only it had been more friendly and not so opppressive.