Mindy Kaling is making headlines this week, but only because her brother says he got into medical school by pretending to be a black man.
Vijay Chokalingam proudly tells his tale in an online pitch for a book he’s writing called “Almost Black: The True Story of an Indian American Who Got Into Medical School Posing as an African American.”
Kaling, he says in the FAQ section of the website, does not approve of his book, in which he’ll detail how and why he shaved his head, trimmed his “long Indian eyelashes,” and applied to medical school as a black man — and got in.
“She actually said, ‘This book will bring shame on our family,'” Chokalingam wrote. “The rest of my family does not agree with the book.”
In a statement released to the media on Monday, Kaling’s spokesperson said, “She was not aware of his decision to apply to medical school under a different name and race.”
Chokalingam says he wants to write and publish the book in “opposition to affirmative action discrimination,” specifically at his alma mater, UCLA.
“My experiences applying to medical school as a black man impressed on me the injustice created by the system of legalized racism called affirmative action,” Chokalingam wrote. “This system destroys the dreams of millions of Indian-American, Asian American, and white applicants for employment and higher education.”
Chokalingam, who says his change in appearance was so drastic that his own fraternity brothers didn’t recognize him, refers to the experience as a “twisted social experiment” that left him a “changed” man.
“I became a serious contender at some of the greatest medical schools in America, including Harvard, Wash U, UPenn, Case Western, and Columbia,” Chokalingam wrote. “In all, I interviewed at eleven prestigious medical schools in 9 major cities across America, while posing a black man. Not bad for a kid with a 3.1 College GPA, heh?”
Chokalingam did not end up becoming a doctor, however. He graduated from an MBA program at UCLA in 2010 and currently works as a professional resume writer and grad-school application consultant.