I was thinking the larger Indian culture honors the self mastery and the joy of detachment practiced by celibate Hindu monks and sees an analog in Christian monasticism and priesthood, whereas American culture looks at celibacy as weird and possibly deviant and sees no value in it. If I am in error I welcome correction.
It's not inaccurate to say that Indian culture honours celibacy for the self-mastery, detachment, and other virtues it implies, but there are several factors at play, Father. First, the celibacy that is celebrated for these reasons is precisely a voluntary celibacy. Many, if not most, of the Hindu priests are married, and marriage is also highly honoured for many reasons. The expectation (even among Christians) is that people will get married. To forsake the blessings of married life in order to embrace ascetic struggle is, in a sense, "Mary choosing the better part"...it is the exception, not the expectation. But to force celibacy on someone who may not want it because it's the only way he can do what he really wants (i.e., be a priest) is not necessarily viewed as "self-control" and "detachment". To put it charitably, it's a puzzling imposition.
Another important difference is that celibacy is not monasticism. A monastic context offers a tremendous amount of communal support for a celibate lifestyle. A married priest has the community of his wife and children to offer necessary support. A celibate priest is neither here nor there. It's considerably more respectful than lay bachelorhood, but it raises some of the same suspicions. These are only exacerbated by the stories of wayward clergy. Our people enjoy gossip, and the more unsubstantiated the better because
the substantiated stories are pretty bad, whether they involve sex or money or what have you. There are less checks on a clerical bachelor than there are on a monk or a husband.
Another consideration is that, whatever the wider Indian culture thinks about celibacy, Indian Christianity operates, for the most part, like a mildly evangelistic caste: it doesn't really matter what the wider, non-Christian culture thinks, it matters how "we" view it. The Orthodox view is the most like the Hindu view, and the Protestants don't really need a reason to be suspicious of Catholics.
The Catholic Church in India is, IIRC, the largest single religious group with a foreign allegiance. A celibate clergy can be interpreted as a more efficient "attack force", able to be mobilised wherever, take on whatever tasks, work with whomever, without attachments or baggage. That may sound like paranoia, but there is at least some of that.
All of that to say that it's not really because of the high esteem Indians have for celibacy that celibacy works for Eastern Catholics in India. Don't take this the wrong way, but my impression of them is that they're (Roman) Catholic first, and Eastern second. To put it more polemically, they really do seem like "Roman Catholics of the X Rite" (some more so than others) And Catholicism is not just a form of Christianity, it's the "true Church" where the others are false, and recognising the authority of the Pope is part of what is necessary to be saved: he is, after all, the Vicar of Christ--the visible God, Jesus on earth (I'm not exaggerating, this is the understanding of people with whom I've spoken). If all that is true, and part of what they identify with Catholicism is priestly celibacy, that's a small price to pay for priesthood, for heaven, for God himself. It works not because of Indian values but because of Roman Catholic values, however much they are not in line with actual Catholic teaching.
If American culture looks at celibacy as weird, deviant, and without value, I suspect that is much more a hang-up about sex. And while that's certainly a factor nowadays, was celibacy always considered strange in America? If so, how much of that was about sex and how much was about other factors?