Economic and financial hopes pinned to Modi are seen by many Indians, especially within the business community, as responsible for the country's rising stock market; the Bombay Sensex is up by double digits this year.
In fact, little has changed in India since Modi took office in May, but there's hope that he will put pro-business policies in place that will ultimately improve India's economic situation. Indian Americans, many of whom are first-generation, largely credit Modi for helping to improve India's image thanks to his supposed zero tolerance for corruption, which plagues India.
M.R. Rangaswami, head of Indiaspora, an influential group of Indian-American leaders, said he's never before seen the current level of excitement around an Indian leader. "Very few leaders from India have come to the U.S. and have received this type of audience," he said.
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Rangaswami noted that part of the excitement comes from hopes that Modi can strengthen India's relationship with the U.S., which has stagnated over the past few years.
Both India and the United States have reason to bolster ties between the two countries. Aside from trade—Modi is seen as a potential liberalizer of India's international trade and foreign investment rules—the U.S. is likely to try to tap India as a global ally, especially in the war on terror, and as an Asian counterbalance to China.
"If the U.S. wants a reset with India, Modi is the right person to be reaching out to," said Jonah Blank, senior political analyst at Rand Corp.