Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the world’s largest democracy, plans to make his first official state visit to the United States later this month. Quite a change from 2005, when Modi was denied a U.S. visa based on his questionable human rights record. Since becoming PM, he’s traveled several times to the U.S., and many in the South Asian diaspora have welcomed him. Indeed, he has filled stadiums.

But Modi’s politics have been highly divisive, with his government’s treatment of Muslim populations and other minorities coming in for widespread criticism. So, what are the reasons for his popularity at home and abroad? How much overseas support is contributing to Modi’s popularity and success? And what kind of an impact could progressive elements of that diaspora have on Indian politics?

Anjali Arondekar, professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz and founding co-director of the university’s Center for South Asian Studies joined me to sift through these and other questions. I hope you enjoy listening.

Vinita Srivastava

Host + Producer, Don't Call Me Resilient | Senior Editor, Culture + Society

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