There’s nothing subjective about it. Indians objectively have one of the strongest economies with a villager discount, gold bonus, and sometimes a fishing bonus as well. They are one of the top booming civs. I doubt anyone is debating this, so it’s easy to address first at a high level.
Objectively Indian camels in the late game are worse than Saracens’ when facing most enemy units (including heavy cavalry). If you consider unit cost then Berbers and Byzantines also have better camels than Indians. That is not even considering upgrade costs, which is a generous way of looking at it since Imperial Camel costs 1800 resources (about 15-16 camels you could otherwise afford, and in fact its not even worth getting the upgrade unless you plan on making nearly 100 camels).
Malians are situational, and I’d lean toward them being behind Indians in most cases, although they are cheaper to upgrade and Farimba allows them to raid better. This one is a little subjective, that is why I said #4 or #5. Imperial Camels are certainly not in the top 3 unless the game is camels vs buildings (unlikely).
Even in Castle Age, where Indians still have full armor upgrades, this changes very little. Saracens with +10 HP are better than Indians with +1 Pierce Armor when facing enemy cavalry. Berbers (even with 15% discount) and Byzantines (who have full attack upgrades in Castle Age) are both more efficient than Indians. Malians are completely generic so they fall off the list for Castle Age.
As for win rate stats, thanks for the supporting links @casusincorrabil. I used that same site, but the specific data set I referenced was open maps 1v1 , >1200 Elo, no civ pick (any other data set skews stats toward 50% win rate as discussed in another thread).
In this data Indians show 46% win rate against Mayans, 47% against Incas, 48% against Saracens and 49% against Aztecs. These are their worst 4 matchups. Tbh I’m not really opposed to Indians having a sub-50% win rate against the 3 civs with no cavalry, I was just refuting the claim they do fine against meso, objectively they do not. My opinion is that Indians should perform better against Saracens, its actually shocking that they lose this one considering the differences in economy. That says to me that Saracens versatility and tech tree is doing a lot, while Indians limited options and weaker camels negate their eco advantage (this sentence is subjective, but the win rate is not).
I hope that Indians see a change soon. Not because they need a buff, but because they need an identity.