Home SMARTPHONE Joe Biden’s little known India connection explained

Joe Biden’s little known India connection explained

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The United States has chosen Joe Biden as its 46th president, even though his appointment in the White House may take some time as Donald Trump is refusing to concede defeat or leave the Oval Office. Nonetheless, here’s a look at the man who will be the President of the United States for the next four years.

A member of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden previously served as the 47th vice president of the US from 2009 to 2017, in the administration of the then President Barack Obama. He also served as the United States Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009. His election as a senator at the age of 29 made him the sixth youngest senator in American history. But on an interesting note, the 77-year-old will be the oldest person to become US president.

Biden, who had previously unsuccessfully run for president in 1988 and 2008, has also become the first vice-president to defeat a president with his latest win against Donald Trump. He has chosen Kamala Harris as his deputy, who will herself break records by becoming the first Asian-American, the first African-American, and the first female vice president in US history. While it’s well known that Harris has an Indian mother, the president-elect also has a connection to the South Asian country which many aren’t aware of.

Biden’s Indian relatives

During his maiden visit to Mumbai, India, in 2013, the-then vice president had said: “I may have relatives in India.” Biden was referring to a Mumbai resident who had the same surname and had even written to him back in 1972 claiming they were related. The man had insisted that they were both descendants of someone who worked for the erstwhile East India Company.

In another interview that took place a few years later, Biden noted that his “great, great, great, great, great grandfather George Biden” was a captain in the East India Company who settled in India and married an Indian. “There are five Bidens in Mumbai, India,” Biden had told a Washington audience in 2015.

Irish roots

Apart from India, the president-elect has his family members in the United Kingdom as well. His ancestral home in the west of Ireland recently celebrated his victory and toasted him as a native son after he defeated Trump.

Biden has his ancestral home in Ballina, a County Mayo town near the Atlantic Coast. His Irish cousins gathered under a pop art-style mural of Biden in Market Square to clink glasses and express relief that the Democrat’s ancestor Edward Blewitt did not blow it by moving to the US. Blewitt, Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather, had emigrated to the US after the 1840s famine and settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, reports The Guardian.

Joe Blewitt, a plumber who is a third cousin of Biden, revealed to BBC that the politician had told him he will be “back as president.” Blewitt, who visited Biden in the White House when he was the vice-president, hopes that the future POTUS will keep up with his promise.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made history by picking a Black woman, Senator Kamala Harris, as his running mate.
Photo: AFP / JIM WATSON

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