Biden’s ancestors in India: PM Modi brings papers, US prez jokes ‘purpose of meeting was to track them’

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Sep 24, 2021, 10:42 PM(IST)

Prime Minister Modi said he had done 'some hunting around' and brought along some documents related to the Biden surname Photograph:( Agencies )

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was referring to the time when US President Joe Biden, during his visit to Mumbai in 2013, told an audience that his distant relatives lived in the west Indian city.


 

During their first in-person summit, US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a lighter moment, speaking about the former’s ancestral relations with India.

Prime Minister Modi said he had done “some hunting around” and brought along some documents related to the Biden surname, prompting smiles and laughter during the White House meeting.

While referring to Biden's ancestors, Modi said, “You have spoken in detail about the Biden surname in India, and you have mentioned that to me earlier too. And I hunted around for documents, and today I have brought along some documents to take it forward. And maybe they will be useful to you,” Modi said.

“The whole purpose of the (bilateral) meeting is to help track them down,” he added, prompting smiles and laughter among the officials gathered at the White House.

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Modi was referring to the time when Biden, during his visit to Mumbai in 2013, told an audience that his distant relatives lived in the west Indian city of Mumbai.

Also read | Beginning new chapter: Joe Biden tells Modi India-US ties to be stronger, closer, tighter

Biden had reiterated his claim two years later at an event in Washington, saying there were five Bidens living in Mumbai.

“I find out that there was a Captain George Biden, a captain in an Indian tea company. The end result was that he apparently stayed and married an Indian woman,” said President Biden.

Decades after he received a letter from someone by the last name of Biden from Mumbai, soon after becoming a senator, Biden learned that his "great, great, great, great, great grandfather" had worked in the East India Company.

"There are five Bidens in Mumbai, India," Biden, then Vice President, told a Washington audience in 2015 at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of India-US civil nuclear deal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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