Question, why is it that Indians in the U.S. whether US citizens or Indian nationals seem to universally hate the current Indian government? Like, it seems everyone hates Modi. Who the hell is voting in India's elections then? Is it just an education thing since most of the Indians we see in the U.S. are well educated?
Skip this post if not interested in these questions.
Interesting questions. As I have never been to the US I'm not qualified to answer your first question. I still have some crude assumptions.
People born in the US may be too liberal to like Modi's past. What critics of his past fail to realize is that he is neither paranoid nor sadistic. I am 70% confident that he doesn't hate Muslims. I believe he's indifferent to them. In short he is attractive for those Indians who admire a "strong man", but at the same time he is not dangerous. I call him the Indian Khrushchev.
Modi pulled of some major reforms. I think his enemies think twice if they should try to organize inner party opposition. I doubt he could have done these reforms without his past.
Demonetarisation was an interruption in the economy. People suffered, but rich people suffered more. Somebody with a welding workshop wanted to build a house. He told me demonetarisation cost him 300.000 Rs/ 4300 $. He further said: "No problem, the rich lost 3 Mio or 30 Mio Rs."
His house got ready last year, 3 years late.
Earlier small industries would sell their products in cash. Now maybe 90% or so is sold with bill and VAT = Goods and Service Tax (GST). If your main expenditure is food, you are not affected. But cars and air conditioning attracted 28% (now reduced to 19%). I have seen infrastructure projects earlier. Mostly they were financed by World Bank or Japanese Development Bank credit. Let's say 2% interest and 30 years maturity or so. Now there is huge infrastructure building with foreign as well as tax money. I personally say India before GST was a joke, now it's a proper country.
Central elections were in April/ May 2019. In January mood was not very in favour of Modi. But in February there was an attack on a bus of the central reserve police force in Kashmir. 44 police man died. Some minor military action with Pakistan followed. The nationalist sentiment however was not minor. How do you unite a people? Have a common enemy.
With so much tax money the central government can afford subsidies for housing. In small towns people knock down their clay house and build concrete structures. Ventilation afterwards is worse than before. But living in a RCC structure symbolizes having escaped poverty.
Traffic in cities is a catastrophy. Chicago type urban trains with the name "metro" were built in very few very big cities earlier. Under Modi lot of cities started construction.
Then there is a scheme in which women got a free gas cylinder. Cooking on a wood stove in the monsoon sucks. Similar if guests come and one wants to offer a cup of tea it is nerving if one has to start a fire first. I recently saw a poster at a petrol pump of Modi giving a gas cyclinder to a smiling Muslim woman.
I can't find that poster in the internet. However I found a similar picture on the Prime Minister's website:
source: https://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/news_upda ... rget-date/
Can you imagine a picture of Hitler donating something smilingly to an orthodox Jew? Forget the Hitler comparisons. Read about Krushchev.
Then there is economic policy. Earlier the government would give coal blocks to political friends. To avoid money influencing future elections it was important to starve the old donors. The supreme court decided that coal block allocation was illegal. Coal power plants sat next to coal fields. But they weren't allowed to use this coal any more and there was no railway either. Modi waited till a lot of power plants went into insolvency/ changed owner. Recently coal blocks were auctioned.
The mobile provider Jio from Mukesh Ambani was greatly and unfair preferred by Modi. Basically all other cellular service provider are bankrupt or close to it. But with the exception of Jio the government today works with auctions. And recently the government made a decision which harmed Jio more than the competitors. It's contradicting evidence, I'm not sure what to believe. I don't think any politician in India can do without some money from business friends. But if the improvement is 70%, I shall be quite satisfied. In other words: Are auctions the rule or the exception?
"If you have one million Rs debt with your bank, that's your problem. If you have 1 billion Rs debt with the bank, that's the banks problem."
Earlier political connected businessmen would not pay back their credit or would get the credit evergreened. Products were sold without bill, so a businessman could extract huge wealth from the company. Insolvency law was changed. Some big fish are getting fried. Credit moral has greatly improved.
Even though we are in recession, the amount of non performing assets in public sector banks has fallen strongly the last 1,5 years. In any other country I would say that I don't believe statistics which I didn't fake myself. But then the surplus value of labor is shameless. (Lot's of poverty, many SUVs). I believe businessmen start respecting the law. Many industries are affected by recession at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if doubtful credits do get evergreened at the moment. I have no evidence for this assumption. But I believe that there was a great change in culture and that evergreening, if done as emergency measure, is not meant to stay for good.
If one has a knee operation, one can't participate in a race one week later. The reforms are serious disturbances in the way the Indian economy works. Nevertheless they are necessary. Any politician without the "halo of dominance" would have committed political suicide by touching one of them.
Even if people are not doing too well: Some will appreciate the change in infrastructure, some will appreciate that a strong man shows the rich their place, women enjoy the comfort of a gas stove, some ordinary people can afford to rebuild their house, I admire the reforms.
But I don't know why US Indians don't like him.