The native village of Kamala Harris Thulasendrapuram witnessed unprecedented celebration as the news of her becoming the Vice President-elect of the United States reached the sleepy village in India’s Tamil Nadu. Besides Kamala, US President-elect Joe Biden too has relatives in India. It is now common knowledge that Kamala is the daughter of an Indian-origin mother and a Jamaican-origin father.
But most people don’t have the slightest idea that Joe Biden has Indian connections. In 2013 during a trip to India, Biden had told an assembly of people that he has some distant relatives living in Mumbai.
“There are five Bidens in Mumbai, India,” Biden had said. “It’s an honour to be back in India and to be here in Mumbai.… but I received a letter from a gentleman named Biden – Biden, my name – from Mumbai, asserting that we were related,” Biden had told the Mumbai audience seven years ago. He also said that he has regrets that he never followed up on that letter.
According to media reports, it all started when Biden, soon after becoming a senator in 1972 at the age of 29, received a letter from Mumbai with the same surname of Biden. It was only then that he got to know of his “great, great, great, great, great grandfather” who had served in the East India Company. His name was George Biden and was a Captain in the East India Trading company. After retirement, he decided to settle in India and married an Indian woman.
Anyway the Indian connections of the two leaders is a matter of pride and joy for India. It is to be hoped that this will help to go a long way in the blossoming of relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, in Kamala’s village, Deepawali appears to have arrived a week early. People distributed sweets and burnt firecrackers to celebrate the occasion.