Mindy Kaling’s brother Vijay Chokal-Ingam: ‘I got into medical school because I said I was black’

Posted at 6:54 AM, Apr 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-07 06:54:19-04

Mindy Kaling’s older brother, Vijay Chokal-Ingam — who says on his Twitter bio that he is “The Mindy Project” star’s “nemesis” — is claiming that he pretended to be a black man to get into medical school.

According to Chokal-Ingam, back in 1998-99 he changed his name to Jojo, altered his appearance and self-identified as “black” on various forms so as to up his chances of getting into medical school.

“In my junior year of college, I realized that I didn’t have the grades or test scores to get into medical school, at least not as an Indian-American … so I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes and applied to medical school as a black man,” says Chokal-Ingam on his website. “Vijay the Indian-American frat boy [became] Jojo the African-American Affirmative Action applicant to medical school.”

Following his decision to self-identify as black, Chokal-Ingam says that he “became a serious contender at some of the greatest medical schools in America.” It’s unclear if he applied to them initially as an Indian-American, or only as an African-American. He later attended Saint Louis University to study medicine, but says that he ultimately “never became a doctor.”

Chokal-Ingam’s website and recent public attention seem to be publicity for his book against affirmative action, “Almost Black: The True Story of an Indian American Who Got Into Medical School Posing as an African American.”

In a recent post on his “Almost Black” Facebook page, he writes that he hopes his book will “become some small catalyst for social change, or at the very least cause readers to ask critical questions about race relations.”

According to the New York Post’s interview with Chokal-Ingam, he claims his sister Mindy believes this story “will bring shame on the family.”