(CNN)India is in crisis. Its economy has crashed, with the largest slump on record decimating millions of jobs. Its already fragile healthcare system is buckling under the weight of soaring coronavirus cases. With more than five million cases, India ranks only behind the United States for confirmed infections.
But whereas other populist leaders are feeling the political heat from their handling of the pandemic -- US President Donald Trump and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, for instance -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has largely escaped the scathing headlines and crushing opinion polls that have beleaguered his counterparts.