The Financial Wizard
their vision of taking care of the poor, taking care of the city’s
So, on that larger scale, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to be
able to do that.
On a personal scale, as I’ve often mentioned to you in the
several interviews and interactions we’ve had over the years,
I am a first-generation Indian immigrant with an accent —
some would say a heavy accent — and I am the chief financial officer of the nation’s capital.
This is because of the generous American people and their
policy of inviting people from all over the world.
And, no matter where they come from, as long as you can
contribute, they are willing to give you a position and opportunity to contribute.
This is truly remarkable and that is why I said if you recall
the words of Henry Luce, that the 20th century is an
American century, I contend that the 21st century will also be
an American century, because despite all of the problems
that we have in this country, because of its liberal immigration policies, its innovation, its constant adaptability, will
make sure that we always stay in the forefront… and to me
that is really the strength of this country.
In addition to your public service to the Washington area
community, as well as to the US Congress in educating them
and keeping them abreast on a plethora of fiscal policies, you
have also never shied away from being an Indian-American
I remember in the early 1980s you were in the forefront of
testifying before Congress when the family reunification provisions of the immigration bill were being threatened by the
Also over the years, you’ve been a conspicuous presence at
community events — political, cultural, professional,
and always on hand to support and mentor the first and
next generation of Indian
What has made you always
find the time to also be an
I firmly believe it is your
duty to be a contributing
member of that community
and to see how you can help
the others to the extent we
can provide a role model to
If because of either luck,
chance, ability, education,
that I have all these advantages, I want to be sure that
others can participate in
To me, it was extremely
important that Simpson-Mazzoli (Act of 1986) liberalized our immigration laws
instead of restricting them.
PHOTOGRAPHS COUR TESY: NAT WAR GANDHI
Along with his demanding career, Natwar Gandhi has made time for his family, below, for the community, above, and for his passions. Along with writing poetry and learning music, he has also dabbled in acting, starring as Mahatma Gandhi in a play, right.
Thanks to our efforts, it led to the second major wave of liberalization in the 1980s that brought in hordes of specialized
technicians, professionals, who could contribute to this community in a significant way.
Secondly, I believe in this country, more than anywhere
else, it is organized action that matters.
In Sanskrit there is a proverb that says, sangra shakti
kaloyugay, which means that it isn’t just individual action, it
has to be organized action that becomes a force.
I believe the Indian-American community in an organized
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