This NYT piece and others like it in the most influential newspaper in the world represent the dominant (not exclusive) political position of the type of Wall Street globalizing liberals.
There is of course the serious harshly critical approach by the likes of Pankaj Mishra and others, but just like in the US – the majority of South Asian liberals who are criticizing Modi are more irritated that he’s ‘blowing the cover’ off this ‘shining’, ‘secular’, ‘free’, etc. India versus the step-child of partition known as Pakistan.
The construction of a narrative that took the Pakistani liberal 70 years of hard work to build has collapsed so vividly in one Indian election. Hence, the irritation is not so much at actual human lives (Christians, Muslims, Dalits, Kashmiris, lower caste Hindus) being injured, humiliated, slaughtered, but at the ‘image’ of India that Modi’s BJP is making it harder to sell to the international community’s supposed commitment to a liberal, human rights-defending world order.
That commitment doesn’t look so great when the world’s largest democracy is going down the path, in a free and fair way (not by the military imposing its will), of outright fascist terror.