Obama confirms India-born lawyer as US attorney
The US senate has confirmed India-born lawyer Preet Bharara as Manhattan's next US attorney who will oversee some of the most prominent cases like the prosecution of Bernard L Madoff for his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.india Updated: Aug 11, 2009 10:59 IST
The US senate has confirmed India-born lawyer Preet Bharara as Manhattan's next US attorney who will oversee some of the most prominent cases like the prosecution of Bernard L Madoff for his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
"As a naturalised American citizen from India, Bharara also brings a diversity of background to the post," said the New York Times noting that for this nominee of President Barack Obama "politics and prosecution don't mix."
And while recent United States attorneys in Manhattan have come directly from prosecutors' jobs, Bharara's background on Capitol Hill will serve him well, it said citing Daniel C Richman, a law professor at Columbia University and a former Southern District prosecutor.
"He contributes things that we've not seen before," Professor Richman was quoted as saying. "He's thought hard about what a US attorney's place should be within a broader federal enforcement system and the train wrecks that can develop when unthinking or ill-thinking bureaucrats tamper with that."
Preetinder S Bharara, 40, was born in Ferozepur, India, and he was an infant when his parents immigrated to the United States in 1970. He grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and graduated from Harvard in 1990 and Columbia Law School in 1993.
His father, a Sikh, and his mother, who was Hindu, were born in what is now Pakistan. In the violent migration that occurred after the 1947 partition, his father and mother both moved to the Indian side, with their families losing property and most of their possessions, Bharara has said.
His wife's father, a Muslim, also moved, from the Indian side into Pakistan, also losing his home "and much, much more," as Bharara put it according to the Times. And his wife's mother was born in Palestine, after her father, who was Jewish, escaped with his family from Nazi Germany.
"Four different families, practicing four different faiths - all compelled to flee a half century ago because of their religion," Bharara said in a speech to the South Asian Bar Association of New York in 2007.
"It also means," he joked, "that even when my wife fasts for Yom Kippur, and my father-in-law fasts for Ramadan, I get to stuff my face with samosas all day."