Some native indian regiments supported british against the fighters during the 1857 war of independence too (which started as sepoy mutiny) but none of the two observations noted above were true then (100 years and defending the ancestral land). Notably Punjab, Gurkha and Garhwalis. Britishers were smart to use the same regiments again in the eastern front during the face off with the INA.
Good fair question.
The native Indian regiment were looking at their small regional monarchy as their home land and helped the British to defeat the purabia troops who were revolting. This notion of firangi as not their own was not in the conscious of those Indian troops.
The Europeans - British French Portuguese were helping any kingdom/monarchy who wanted their help during the 1600-1800 period. After that they changed when they only started helping themselves and other Europeans against the Indian monarchy. Once they controlled the trade, money supply, cotton trading and support of the merchant class British were in control. This transition took place between 1795 - 1835. This is rarely understood by the Indians even now from the history.
The European were available to hire to anybody who paid them money. French used to help Tipu Sultan and other kingdoms against the British. After the defeat of the French in the 7 year in 1757 all the other Europeans directly or indirectly helped the British to defeat the rest of the Indian kingdoms.
Indian soldiers were also on hire initially for the East India Company from 1600. They fought for the East India company regiments during the 1857 and were absorbed into the British Crown troops after the crown took over the rule. The Indian elite and the leadership never really understood that the East India Company and the British Crown were one and the same and the British fooled the Indian monarchy(s) saying that the Crown will save the Indians from the excesses of the The Company. Rest of the troops which were on hire gave their allegiance to the Crown by default. Not many understood that they was losing their sovereign rights inside their own country. The colonial British had various subtle ways to cut down any opponents without rising the ire of the larger population. British made sure that they were mostly friendly and trading with the Indian upper class and the Indian merchants.
Some good books on Colonial British India history will give some detailsRaj: The Making and Unmaking of British India
~ Lawrence James
When Robert Clive, a "harum-scarum schoolboy" not yet out of his teens, arrived in India in 1744, he found himself in the middle of chaos: English merchants fought against French traders, Indian princes warred among themselves, Portuguese and Dutch privateers plied the coasts, and throughout the country, anarchy reigned. Clive flourished amid the confusion. He quickly distinguished himself both in battle, showing bravery and unusual presence of mind, and in trade. The combination was profitable for his employer, the East India Company, and although Clive committed suicide in the wake of political scandal in 1774, he set in motion what would become the British conquest of India and the establishment of the Raj, a mixed form of government in which the English ruled through a network of Indian politicians and civil servants. Outwardly stable, the Raj was constantly under threat both by Indian aspirations to self-rule and by other imperialists' intrigues, notably on the part of Russia, Britain's chief competitor in what would come to be called "the great game." Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth-Century India: The British in Bengal (Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society)
~ Robert Travers
Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (Paperback)
~ Niall Ferguson Between Mars and Mammon: Colonial Armies and the Garrison State in 19th Century India (International Library of Historical Studies, Vol 1)
~ Douglas M. Peers
While popular images of the British Raj are saturated with images and memories of military campaigns, remarkably few scholarly studies have considered the direct impact that the army exerted on the day-to-day operations of the British in India. Douglas Peer's book demonstrates not only how important the army was to the establishment of British domination but also to its subsequent form and operation.European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-colonial India: Volume 2 (The New Cambridge History of India)
Soldiers and civilians, with rare exception, were united by the truism that British rule could only be retained by the sword. A rationale and a programme for the Raj emerged that emphasized the precariousness of British rule and showed that its security could only be assured by constant preparedness for war. Consequently, military imperatives and the army's demands for resources were given priority in peacetime as well as wartime. This accounts for the origin of the Burma War (1824-26) and the capture of Bhartpur (1825-26), neither of which would appear at first glance to be strategically vital or economically desirable.
Authorities in London viewed this militarization of the colonial administration and its treasury with misgivings, recognizing not only the financial costs involved, but the political consequences of an increasingly autonomous army. Their efforts to restrain the army were only partially successful. Even William Bentinck (1828-1835), long famous for ushering in a period of reform in India, could only temporarily curb military spending and the influences of the army. He left the military chastened but undefeated; the army's interests were too deeply entrenched and even Bentinck was forced to concede Britain's dependence on the Indian army.
~ Om Prakash The Economy of Modern India, 1860-1970 (The New Cambridge History of India) (Paperback)
~ B. R. Tomlinson
"...Tomlinson's arguments...are always engaging...Tomlinson skillfully demonstrates the impact on India of periodic fluctuations in the world capitalist economy from 1824 to 1945 and believes these events largely determined the shape of modern India...required reading for any serious student of India's economy and India's place in development theory." Marc Jason Gilbert, Journal of Developing Areashttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Plasseyhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... 1-1739.png