Just recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government inaugurated a new parliament building in New Delhi.

It was supposed to symbolize the vision of a “new India” that Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claim they have been realizing during nine years in power. But the building has proved highly controversial, with 20 opposition parties boycotting the inauguration ceremony — the latest manifestation of the seemingly irreparable breakdown in relations between the opposition and the government.

As a member of the opposition, I, too, have strongly criticized the Indian government’s policies, rhetoric and functioning. But the fact is that Modi reportedly enjoys the highest approval ratings of any world leader. As we approach the beginning of an election year, it is worth considering the sources of this support.