Mindy Kaling’s brother says he only got into med school after pretending to be black


In a new post on his blog “Almost Black,” Mindy Kaling’s brother, Vijay Chokalingam, bragged that he pretended to be African-American to get 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,” Vijay said of the plot he hatched in the late 1990s. “Still, I was determined to become a doctor and I knew that admission standards for certain minorities under affirmative action were, let’s say… less stringent?”

For the scheme, Vijay said he shaved his head, trimmed his “long Indian eyelashes,” started using middle name Jojo and joined the Organization of Black Students.

Mindy Kaling's Brother Vijay Chokal-Ingam

“In all, I interviewed at eleven prestigious medical schools in 9 major cities across America, while posing a black man,” Vijay said. “Not bad for a kid with a 3.1 College GPA, heh?”

He was ultimately accepted to the St. Louis University Medical School, which accepts students with average 3.84 GPAs. He ended up dropping out two years later and then used his real identity to gain acceptance to UCLA Anderson’s MBA program.

Vijay told The New York Post he wanted to speak out about this now because he believes affirmative action “promotes negative stereotypes about the competency of minority Americans by making it seem like they need special treatment.”

However, he said his confession has caused problems with his sister because Mindy thinks “this will bring shame on the family.” It seems Mindy isn’t alone in having a poor opinion of Vijay’s “social experiment.”

“Vijay Chokalingam’s ‘experiment’ —whether real or an elaborate troll—is insulting to what black people endure in this country, both institutionally and culturally,” Stereo Williams wrote for The Daily Beast. “And as a person of color, it’s irresponsible for him to be so invested in the idea of individual exceptionalism that he ignores structural inadequacies.”

Others note that Vijay was actually rejected from 13 schools before gaining admission to just one — so it isn’t true to say posing as African-American was a golden ticket. As Asian-American activism blog Reppropriate said, “Chokalingam’s story is an ‘experiment’ without a control: It is literally impossible to draw any conclusions from his narrative other than how much of a pure racist Chokalingam is.”

Mindy hasn’t directly addressed the controversy created by her brother yet.

shopify analytics ecommerce