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‘Are we related?’ President Joe Biden asks PM Modi


When Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with US President Joe Biden, not all conversation was work-related. They did manage to take out some time to speak to each other on a lighter note and discuss some family tracings. 

It seems that this time around 46th US President Joe Biden has been able to trace his family lineage and all credit for that goes to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who shed some light on this matter. 

PM Modi told Presiden Biden that he had ‘hunted’ for documents that would shed light on the president’s Mumbai connection, and brought his findings with him. Biden was quick to respond. “Are we related?” he asked.

President Joe Biden explained that he had learned about an Indian branch of the Biden family when he was first elected to Congress in 1972 and received a letter from someone called ‘Biden’ living in Mumbai.

He said that this was soon after he was first elected to the US Senate. However, President Joe Biden said he never had the chance to follow up on the matter and find out the truth of what the letter claimed.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the President did indeed have family connections to the subcontinent. “Maybe we’ll be able to take this matter forward, and maybe those documents could be of use to you,” Modi told Biden.

The background of the story

As Vice President of the US Joe Biden was in India and recalled being asked by the local press if he had any Indian relatives. 

He retold the story of the letter. The next day, Biden said he was informed by the Indian press that there were at least a few Bidens in India.

“And although we never admitted it … I’ve found out that there was a Captain George Biden who was a captain in the East India Tea Company in India,” Biden said.

He appeared to be referring to the British East India Company, a commercial power that ruled over India more than 200 years back.

Joe Biden, who frequently talks of his Irish ancestry, quipped that the British connection was ‘hard for an Irishman to admit’.

The President said Captain Biden ‘apparently stayed and married an Indian woman’ but he’d never been able to nail down further details.

He joked that PM Narendra Modi was in Washington ‘to help me figure it out’.

Courtesy –

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