Could it be because I normally send questions of this sort to a group (a team in India) rather than to an individual? Usually, I get much better response when I ask an individual, but often I do not know who that individual might be, I only know what team should know the answer.
"An email to everyone is an email to no one."
As HLGEM says, this isn't necessarily limited culturally. However if you email a group who are very strongly Indian (in terms of their workplace behavior) be aware that it is unlikely anyone subordinate will reply-all.
You might as well just email the team lead and ask, until you have better relationships with the subordinates. If you don't have them, don't be surprised if you don't get responses.
In my specific case, I rarely, if ever, get a response to a question I ask of international (from India) coworkers.
Don't ask direct or yes/no questions until you have a meaningful relationship with the coworkers. Broadly speaking, "losing face" is very difficult for Indians (well really everyone, but culturally so especially there). So if you ask something that is a bad thing to answer, ie "will this be delivered on Friday?" when the answer is "not a chance" that is unlikely to get a response you are happy with.
Ask indirect questions. Ask, "how is the project going?" and then ask followup questions. Or "can you help me understand how 'X' works?"
Indians in general also value relationship in a way many American workers are oblivious to. If you ever IM with coworkers from India, I suspect many of them start it with "how's it going?" rather than starting with a question. Jumping straight into business is more difficult. It is that "ugly American who doesn't care about me" perspective.
Also, realize that if you get responses to your questions you probably are getting information that is useful but you are oblivious to it. If you ask how a project is going, and the response is "it's going but we are facing some issues" that is a HUGE WARNING SIGN that something is wrong. It's not to someone in American culture at all.