Speaking at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Biden said it's an honour to be back in India and to be here in Mumbai. Off script for a second here, "I was reminded -- I was elected to the US Senate when I was a 29-year-old kid back in 1972, and one of the first letters I received and I regret I never followed up on it. Maybe some genealogist in the audience can follow up for me, but I received a letter from a gentleman named Biden -- Biden, my name -- from Mumbai, asserting that we were related," evoking laughter from the audience.
"I'm delighted to be in Mumbai, a city full of history and dreams and incredible energy. I bring with me the admiration of the American people and the good wishes of President Obama. We admire the way you've melded ethnicities, faiths and tongues into a single, proud nation; the way entrepreneurship seems almost hard-wired into Indian society, from rickshawwallas to web programmers; and maybe most of all, we admire your democracy and the message that your democracy sends to people everywhere in the world. And that message is: No nation need choose between development and freedom. They are not inconsistent."
Biden also said that after this trip, he'd be able to return to Delaware and brag to the Indian-American community there.
"Any weekend in Delaware -- we have a very significant and tight Indian-American community -- any weekend in Delaware, you can find the Delaware United Cricket Club competing. And now I have bragging rights. I will be able to go back and tell my friends who belong to that club that I visited the home of the best cricket team in the world. It will give me some reason to -- (applause). You won the International Cricket Council Championship.""And as an Irish American, it pleased my heart to see you beat Britain, England. (Laughter.) That's a joke, by the way, for the press. (Laughter.) I don't want to hear a headline: Biden at Odds with British Empire, you know? (Laughter.) But it does make me feel good. (Laughter.)", according to a transcript of his speech.
Biden is in India on a four-day visit.
Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, their daughter Ashley and son-in-law Howard D. Crein, arrived in Mumbai early Wednesday on the second leg of his visit to India.
On Thursday, Biden will visit the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), at Powai.