Mindy Kaling’s self-proclaimed party boy older brother, Vijay Chokal-Ingam, is promoting his latest memoir idea, the provocatively-named Almost Black, about how pretending to be black got him into medical school in an attempt to expose affirmative action's assumed "racism."
Chokal-Ingam realized he didn’t have the grades or test scores needed to get into medical school and watched as his Asian Indian-American friends, with even higher grades than him, failed to get into medical school. So Chokal-Ingam went by his middle name, Jojo, and “shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man,” Chokal-Ingam wrote on his blog, AlmostBlack.com.
Would you rather accept racism or defy those who want to discriminate against you? I chose the latter and applied to medical school as black— Vijay Chokal-Ingam (@VijayIngam) April 4, 2015
Chokal-Ingam was accepted into Saint Louis University School of Medicine and secured interviews with Columbia, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. He told The New York Post:
“I disclosed that I grew up in one of the wealthiest towns in Massachusetts, that my mother was a doctor, and that my father was an architect,” he said Saturday, describing his med-school applications.
“I disclosed that I didn’t receive financial aid from the University of Chicago, and that I had a nice car,” he said. “I was the campus rich kid, let’s just put it on the table. And yet they considered me an affirmative-action applicant.”
But his life as a fake black man wasn’t a sweet ride after all.
“Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me or couldn’t keep their hands off me,” he wrote. “What started as a devious ploy to gain admission to medical school turned into twisted social experiment.”
Chokal-Ingam eventually dropped out of medical school after two years and earned an MBA from UCLA — where he was accepted as an Indian-American.
Chokal-Ingam talked with his sitcom sister about his ploy and planned book and said she wasn’t too pleased about his decision. “I love my sister to death…She says this will bring shame on the family.”