For generations the dad in the Indian homes had a role to play, and that was of the provider, (the karta) the protector, the head of the household, the man in charge, and that meant that he was the authority figure in the home. So, the concept of the father being a loving, involved dad was not very common. Ofcourse, this doesn't mean there weren't loving dads in Indian homes before now, my own grandfather was a very loving dad and granddad, he never as much as even raised his voice at his children, and the one time he reprimanded them, he had tears in his eyes, as told to me by my mother. So yes there were those kinds of dads too, but that wasn't the norm, that wasn't the image that society had of desi dads.
The image was of a stern, disciplinarian father, who kept a distance from his kids, and mainly communicated to them through the lady of the house (i.e the mother of the children) . The father was supposed to be aloof, busy in work and his world. Many a men may not have even known what grade their children were in school.
In the last couple of decades though things have started radically changing in the desi dad's world. It could have happened even sooner, if not for some silly movies in the 70's and 80's scaring men off of claiming their maternal side, and making them think that it is emasculating to them, for an example this song...LOL..
Nevertheless, slowly but surely in the last couple of decades, the desi dad's role has changed. Part of the reason is the new found economic independence by Indian women, which was, until the past couple of decades unavailable to them, and as a result women too were putting long hours of work outside the home, plus the fact that the joint family system is getting less and less common, especially in the urban areas, caused the two people in the household (mother and father) to be responsible for everything, and when a child entered such a setting, rightfully the women expected the men to pitch in with the childcare, and thus men started getting more hands on as far as raising their kids went.
In participating in the child rearing process, many of the desi dads realized, that what they had been conditioned to believe thus far by society, that women are natural nurturers, and better at child rearing, and providing, love and support to the children, isn't necessarily always true. Yes, most women, have a natural maternal side, but that is also true for most men, it's just that women, openly, and freely accept, and embrace their maternal side, whereas men are conditioned to hide or ignore it. However, as men started contributing more in the child rearing process, they realized that they too can own, and embrace their own maternal side, and be just as loving and nurturing towards their children, as the mothers, and it doesn't have to mean that it's emasculating to them.
So, today in many urban, educated homes, the dads (especially those in the mid 20's to late 40's age group) will take an active participation in their child's life. Most are very hands on, partaking in every activity from bathing to feeding, to putting the child to bed.
In my desi social circles in the US, I saw almost all the dads of desi origin, being very hands on with their children, and the child too was quite comfortable being looked after by the father, signalling, that the dad routinely does those activities. I think in the NRI household setup, it is even more important that the husband pitch in with childcare, since the couple may not have easy access to family, who can help out, yes, some may invite parents over from India, for the post delivery care of the new mom and the baby, but that isn't a long-term situation, or a permanent one, moreover, in some circumstances, even this (post-delivery visit of family) may not be possible (personal situation of the parents making it difficult for them to come over for long periods, visa rejection issues, etc) , and also coupled with the fact that hired help, or full time nannies are expensive in the US, and most couples may not be able to afford them, putting the entire burden of the newborn on the couple. So, the desi men, did feel a sense of responsibility towards pitching in with the childcare, and them bonding more with their child as a result.
So, the dad who was the authority figure in the desi home, the one to be feared, the one who you had to keep a respectful distance with, is now transforming into a more relate-able, approachable, lovable, doting dad, who is just as important and a central figure in his child's life as the mother. A welcome change indeed !