Mindy Kaling‘s brother is claiming he self-identified himself as black in order to get in to medical school after being wait-listed at several schools.
According to Vijay Chokal-Ingam, the older brother of Mindy Kaling, he checked his race as black on medical school applications in 1998 and 1999 to make a point against affirmative action.
Chokal-Ingam said he felt compelled to try a different approach when he found himself wait-listed at University of Pennsylvania, Washington University and Mt. Sinai.
“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.
“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 – said.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 5, 2015
After applying as a black man, he received acceptance letters from medical programs including Columbia University, Cornell University, George Washington University, Vanderbilt University and more.
Mindy Kaling’s brother apparently wanted to make a point against affirmative action and calls himself an “affirmative action hacktivist.”
“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,’” said Chokal-Ingam.
Kaling’s Los Angeles-based brother says he is also working on a book about affirmative action and his stance against the practice.
“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.
According to a source for People magazine, Mindy Kaling and her brother are estranged.
“I love my sister to death,” Chokal-Ingam told the New York Post. “She says this will bring shame on the family.”
“My sister Mindy Kaling (Vera Mindy Chokalingam), of The Mindy Project and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, strongly disapproves of my book,” he wrote on his blog.
“She actually said, ‘This book will bring shame on our family.’ The rest of my family does not agree with the book. Still, they respect my right to make my own decisions with my career,” he added.
Chokal-Ingam went on to attend St. Louis University Medical School, but dropped out after two years. It is unclear how he identified himself in his application to the medical school.