Obama is enroute to India since India is important for the containment and balancing of a rising China. It is also useful to cover the US’ flank as it moves out of the region. Obama would not like another Iraq style return to square one when he pulls out of Afghanistan.
Whereas India would have been significant, with or without Mr. Modi, Mr. Modi’s attributes are useful, particularly for the US. Mr. Modi’s Pakistan policy suggests as much. He has put Pakistan on notice and that helps the US cover its tracks as it bails out of Afghanistan. Mr. Modi’s attributes are useful for the US. It is not unhappy in the temporary turn to majoritarian politics in India and its corollary of incipient authoritarian rule. History repeatedly reminds that being a friend of the US is a worse than being its enemy. For China and Russia, India assumes importance owing to his importance to the US. Both want to keep India out of the US firmament.