Mindy Kaling‘s brother may have taken a slightly unorthodox route to get into medical school.
Vijay Chokal-Ingam, the older brother of the Mindy Project star recently made headlines after claiming he self-identified as black on medical school applications back in 1998 and 1999.
Chokal-Ingam claims that when he initially applied to medical schools he found himself wait-listed at University of Pennsylvania, Washington University and Mt. Sinai. This apparently prompted him to try to apply to schools while claiming to be black.
“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,” Chokal-Ingam posted on his website Almost Black, where he writes about his anti-affirmative action stance and chronicles his experience of getting into medical school.
“I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man. My change in appearance was so startling that my own fraternity brothers didn’t recognize me at first. I even joined the Organization of Black Students,” Chokal-Ingam – who is Indian-American – revealed.
(According to source, Kaling and her brother are estranged and she has no knowledge of his application claims.)
On March 31, the 38-year-old proceeded to post screenshot proof to his Almost Black Facebook page of application paperwork, invitations to interviews and acceptance letters from medical programs including Columbia University, Cornell University, George Washington University, Vanderbilt University and more.
Much of the extensive documentation is addressed from university minority affairs departments. The papers also show that the UCLA graduate applied under the name JoJo.
“Let me clear about one thing. I never lied about anything on my application, except my race. Everything else on my application can be verified as correct. I didn’t even claim that I was ‘disadvantaged,’ ” the self-proclaimed “affirmative action hacktivist” wrote on Facebook.
Kaling’s Los Angeles-based brother is also working on a book detailing his anti-affirmative action stance.
“I am writing this book to show my opposition to affirmative action discrimination, specifically at my alma mater UCLA but in the American education system in general,” he wrote on his website.
“I love my sister to death,” Chokal-Ingam told the New York Post of how he thinks she’ll react to his public campaign. “She says this will bring shame on the family.”
Chokal-Ingam went on to attend St. Louis University Medical School, but dropped out after two years. (The medical school was not part of the papers that he initially uploaded to Facebook, so it isn’t clear if he self-identified as black while applying to the school.)