Why did outsiders, like Mughal or British, rule India for 500 years?
Mughals did not rule India, nor did the British.
They ruled territories in the Indian subcontinent- Difference.
There was no concept of a country in 16th century India. India was non-existent. What existed instead were little areas ruled by different dynasties.
The land of India was fragmented. It was not a big deal for an able ruler to dominate a small fragment out of these many fragments.
These small kingdoms had nothing to do with each other. They had no "We" feeling. A ruler would pounce on the other ruler whenever he'd get a chance.
Plus, Mughals did not rule all the territories of India. Most of the times they only had a small chunk under their control. And they kept losing chunks and gaining chunks throughout their time in the Indian subcontinent.
Take the example of Babur, the first Mughal ruler. When he came to take control of the Indian territories in the early 16th century, he found India broken up into little pieces. He writes Indian subcontinent was divided into several Kingdoms, and the main ones among these Kingdoms were:
Delhi, Punjab, Bengal, Jaunpur, Gujarat, Mewar, Malwa, Orissa, Sindh, Kashmir, and Khandesh. [in northern India]
In South India, the two main Kingdoms were Bahmani Sultanateand Vijayanagar Empire. Bahmani Sultanate was divided into five principalities as well!
So Babur came and conquered Delhi first. When he settled himself inside Delhi and amassed some power, he went further and conquered other territories that he could lay his hands on.
Still then, he could not conquer much in his life. It took his grandson and great-grand sons to conquer the vast lands of India. The following map will give you some idea. (Babur only had the purple part under his control.)
Its not just the Mughals and the British but also the Delhi Sultanate rulers who ruled over us. The answer is obvious Indians have never been united. They were always selfish about their own personal interests.
From the time of Akbar, India also did not keep abreast of the scientific developments around the world so that by the time the British came to India, indians were significantly lacking in the knowledge of technical advancements round the world. Thus making Indians an easy prey.
When Marathas fought with Ahmad Shah Abdali in the third Battle of Panipat none of the Indisn states supported the Marathas, who could have filled up the vacume created by the declining Mughal power.
Indians wanted them to rule cos local bosses are dream breaking nahi hoga Maha kanjuses.
Do u think I'm a super businessman ?
But why do I live a relatively super life in Jaipur ?
Cos Desi small businessmen locally want me to get their kids adopted to a "Turki Seth" ( I have connections in Surxandaryo. Guess where that is? 20 km from where Babor was born :P) . These are Thateras , Kachowo and Gujjars :P not even Muslims.
There are no shortage of Desi Seth's yet folks want Turki Seth fot their kids.
This im gussing is because Indian bosses don't allow subbordinates to grow and are misers wirh them.
This is why 8/10 Indians preferred Babor or Simon.
I'm not trolling Desi's since I'm one myself now especially LOL but wr suck at commanding loyalty of our subbordinates.
Answer is simple, we were not India then. We were not united. There were princely states and every ruler wanted to showcase his power. Due to EGO problem none of them came together to fight when a foreign power invaded us. For example: When Mughal emperor Akbar wanted to invade Rajputana's, Maharana Pratap tried to unite all the kingdoms in Rajasthan but failed due to ego issues and personal rivalry among the rulers.
Similarly when British came to India they figured there is no unity among Indians and started playing the Divide & Rule game. We Indians took about 100 years to figure out that we were to overcome the British rule we need to stand United and fight against them.
Well.. India is no exception to 'outsider' rule ...
The reason is they made the localites their allies and both together fought agaisnt a third party king !
The Mughals made the Rajputs their allies and even Aurangzeb used Rajput king Jaisingh against Maratha EMpire`s Shivaji !
Through forced Subsidiary Alliance Agreement Britishers took away the powers of Princely states thereby making them a mere puppet !