Answer: James Mill, a Scottish economist and political philosopher, published a massive three volume work in 1817. In this he divided Indian history into three periods – Hindu, Muslim and British. This periodization came to be widely accepted but all of his opinion was not true.
James Mill thought that all Asian societies were at a lower level civilization than Europe. According to his telling of history, before the British came to India, Hindu and Muslim despots ruled the country. Religious intolerance, caste taboos and superstitious practices dominated social life. He felt that British rule could civilize India by introducing European manners, arts, institutions and laws in India. He also suggested that the British should conquer all the territories in India to ensure the enlightenment and happiness of Indian people. He was of the opinion that India was not capable of progress without British help.
In this idea of history, British rule represented all the forces of progress and civilization in India. The period before British rule was one of darkness.
It was incorrect to characterize periods of Indian history in the views of religious rulers, since a variety of faiths was existed simultaneously in these periods. Ad we all know that even rulers in ancient India did not all share the same faith.