The question is positing reasons for the lack of independent industrial development in India during British rule. The correct answer is option 1: the absence of heavy industries.
Option 1: Absence of heavy industries - Heavy industries, such as iron and steel, are significant drivers for the development of other industries. At the time of British rule, these were virtually non-existent resulting in the stagnation of independent industrial growth.
Option 2: Scarcity of foreign capital - This suggests that lack of investment from abroad stunted growth. Though relevant, this isn`t a primary factor since capital could be sourced internally if heavy industries were present.
Option 3: Scarcity of natural resources - India is abundant in natural resources, making this option invalid.
Option 4: Preference of the rich to invest in land - Ownership of land was indeed preferred at the time, but it does not directly correlate to the lack of industrial development.
Thus, the key factor hindering independent industrial development was indeed the absence of heavy industries.