Vijay Chokal-Ingam, actress Mindy Kaling’s brother, claims that he pretended to be black to get admitted to medical school.
Kaling, formerly of The Office, is the creator and star of The Mindy Project sitcom on the Fox television network.
Despite lackluster grades (3.1 GPA) and MCATs that made a career in medicine unlikely, Chokal-Ingam’s “project” apparently worked, enabling him to gain entrance to the St. Louis University School of Medicine after interviewing at 11 top schools across the country.
Determined to become a doctor without the necessary top-of-the-class academic qualifications, the self-described hard-partying frat boy revealed, “I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man.”
He also opted to go by the name Jojo instead of Vijay, adding, “I even joined the Organization of Black Students and started using my embarrassing middle name that I had hidden from all of my friends since I was a 9 years old.”
Vijay Chokal-Ingam earned a BA in economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from UCLA and was a National Merit Scholar. He refers to himself on Twitter as an Affirmative Action Hacktivist.
Although he dropped out of med school after two years and now runs a resume writing service from Los Angeles, the TV star’s brother apparently has a memoir in the works about the application process experience called Almost Black.
In the upcoming chronicle about what he deemed a twisted social experiment, Chokal-Ingam makes his opposition to race-based affirmation action evident, according to the book’s webpage.
“After watching my better-qualified Indian-American friends get rejected from medical school, I realized that my chances of getting in where almost nil. I read several books and discovered strong evidence that American medical schools were discriminating against Indian Americans, Asian Americans, and whites in the form of a statistical chart in the back of the book, Minority Student Opportunities in United States Medical Schools 13th Ed. 1996. In essence it stated that black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants with my grades and test scores were much more likely to gain acceptance into medical school than Indian, Asian and white applicants.
I realized that by posing as a black man, I could dramatically improve my chances of gaining admissions to medical school…”
Chokal-Ingam claims that race was the only thing he lied about on his med school application and that he has no apologies for adopting the persona of an African American.
“I committed an act of defiance against a system of legalized racism… I hope the story of my experiences will be a catalyst for social change and opposition to affirmative action racism.”
[image via Twitter]
— Vijay Chokal-Ingam (@VijayIngam) March 5, 2015