In the past , going to the US was the holy grail for most bright Indian students. The US is a meritocratic society , which offered lots of opportunities if you were willing to work hard. It promised a great lifestyle as well, so you had both professional satisfaction as well as tons of money . Everyone looked up to you, and your friends back home were envious of your huge house, fancy car and jet-setting life style.
Bright students have always aspired to go to where they have a chance to shine, and the USA used to be considered to be the land of opportunity for young Indians. It had a world-class educational system where your intellect was valued.