It doesn't help that even the wider international community applies the double standard of congratulating most countries on their space programmes while condemning NK. Why would India be allowed such a programme when NK isn't?
India is allowed a space program because they are not belligerent, starving millions of their own citizens for the perpetuation of their regime. If you show yourself to have good intentions and play by international rules then things generally go well. If you prove to be untrustworthy, how can any request be taken seriously? No one really believes they have peaceful intentions by perfecting their rockets. They never say what they mean.
The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.