Bhagat's village is Gonarpura, in Mahottari district, and his hometown is Janakpur, in the neighboring district of Dhanusha, both in Nepal. His mother is from Banjhula, Sitamarhi district, Bihar. His father is from Gonarpura. His father is Muni Bhagat, who ran for parliament on a Nepal Sadbhavana Party ticket in 1991, his mother Parvati Purbey. His mother's cousin Ram Chandra Purbey served as Education Minister of Bihar in Laloo Yadav's cabinet in the 1990s. His grandfather Ram Prasad Bhagat was headman of Gonarpura for a decade and a half, first nominated, then elected after elections were introduced. He is half Bihari Indian and half Madhesi.
Bhagat's siblings are sister Renu, sister Rita, brother Santosh, and sister Babita. All three sisters are married. Renu, married to Shatrughn, has four children, Sachin, Priyanka, Priti, Ravi. Renu lives in Darbhanga, India where her children attend a private, English medium school. Rita, married to Navraj, lives near Janakpur. And Babita lives in New York City with her husband Bisundev Mahato who works a research job at Columbia University. Santosh runs an internet cafe in Janakpur.
Bhagat moved to Janakur where his father had set up a radio shop and did his schooling there, the first batch of the first English medium private school in town, Janaki English Boarding School. But he had had some private tutoring in Gonarpura, where he had also attended the local village school briefly, sitting on jute mats, scribbling on mud "slates" with "chalk pencils." In Janakpur he made the rounds of two government schools before Janaki school opened up.
He sat for the nationwide entrance examinations for the national school, Budhanilkantha, and moved to be a boarding student there in 1983, where he started in Class 4. Bhagat excelled academically and otherwise until 1989 when he had an illustrious year as House Captain of Kanchanjunga, one of the four senior hostels on campus. Some developments at the end of that year gave a serious jolt to him that he thinks akin to awakening to "social gravity." It was an untoward incident at the city buspark, but more the reaction of the school administration to the incident. His performance at school nosedived in the aftermath.
Half way through his Class 12 year, or the first year of A-Levels, he was nominated School Captain as the obvious candidate. But between his negotiating for a 12-strong team, the repeat politics of the honchos in the school administration, further reflective of the "social gravity," and an act of back-stabbing by the Vice Captain nominee, he got unceremoniously thrown out from the process that ensured more of a "social ditch" all the way to finishing school, the final push an uncalled for thunderous berating at the beginning of the very final exams by the guidance counsellor who, in a private setting at a Thamel restaurant with another Britisher, a former English teacher, a few months later remarked to him in Bhagat's obvious presence, "Don't you miss it when we used to rule over India?" He felt absoultely humiliated as his Indian ethnic origin and his Indian nationality was insulted.
He studied at Berea College.The 1989-1992 pattern was to be kind of repeated at college, 1996-2001, socially a great first year culminating in setting a college record getting elected student body president as a freshman, only to awaken to more "social gravity." It can take years to search for and find the vocabulary to confront the social jolts from years back. Bhagat changed his major to Sociology to look for some of that vocabulary, but found the discipline to be like physics before Newton, before his "giants," disappointing.
The biggest story of the 1996-2001 period was not the "social gravity," but Bhagat's involvement in the dot com mania. He was associated with several start-ups, one of which went to raise a lot of money before succumbing to the dot com meltdown.
Bhagat has been vocal about what he calls "my unfair share of unfair experiences, as a half Madhesi and half Bihari Indian in Nepal, and a non-white person in the US," but "my work is science, not autobiography." His being vocal about some of the incidents from the past is so as to dig the path for more of those from his backgrounds who might seek to move ahead, so as to provide a framework for possible experiences, and possible remedies to the situation, so as to express solidarity, and fuel political solutions. There also ends up a backlog of ethnic and racial demonizations, "stories put out there by the enemies" so to draw away attention from the burning issues in social justice, that people end up subscribing to in the course of their "background research" in the associated social circles. There is this major social momentum to distort, demonize, and caricature. "How come people don't talk more often about Chaitime.com, or ever!"
Bhagat has been to all 48 states in the continental United States in a 18-wheeler.
"A thousand years from now the history of human civilization will be seen in two parts, pre-Internet and post-Internet."
Last updated: June 12, 2005. Good job!! Parmender See this link too: http://www.hamroblog.com/?p=304