Let’s assume that throughout history; the typical South Asian is a Shudra peasant from UP.
Would the welfare of this hypothetical individual have been better off today if:
(1.) there had been no British rule; i.e the Mughals & other powers (Sikh, Maratha, Hyderabad) scrape through to the modern age. No English language & no railways.
(2.) there had been no Turkish incursion; India remained under Hindu & indigenous rule through to the present day. No Islam, no Taj & no biryani.
(3.) finally if Ashoka had successful imposed Buddhism throughout the Sub-continent and replaced Hinduism & the attendant caste system. No Vedas, no caste.
Of course virtually all Pakistanis would settle on number 1, Hindutva on number 2 but number 3 is the one that really intrigues me; maybe the dwindling Nehruvians would have agreed to that?
In the end Gandhi’s composite approach; to somehow try and blend all histories in a vaguely Saffron-lite mix won out but since 90% of Brown Pundit discussion goes back to these forks in history (especially the Muslim one), it’s interesting to contemplate it from a different angle.