Mindy Kaling’s Brother Posed As a Black Man to Get into Med School
A man you’ve never heard of named Vijay Chokalingam claims that he pretended to be black in the late ’90s in order to get into medical school. In fact, he provides evidence that he received interest from a number of notable universities, including Harvard. And he did all this with only a 3.1 GPA. U.S. News reports that having a GPA below 3.3 when applying to med school is considered “low.”
So who is this man and why do we care? Vijay Chokalingam is Mindy Kaling’s brother. Yes, that Mindy. The Cambridge-native and darling of TV, commercials, and Twitter, not-to-mention Boston magazine cover model, and full on Ravenclaw, although she claims she’s 100 percent Slytherin.
Wait…I’ve seen this movie. It’s called Soul Man, an awful flick from 1986 where the main character, a white male, takes tanning pills to become “black” and get into med school—specifically, Harvard. (Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Someone in Hollywood actually got paid to write that script.) The only redeeming part of this offensive and stupid movie is that the great James Earl Jones is in it, which means I’m not completely embarrassed for having seen it.
Chokalingam is releasing a book about his experience titled, “Almost Black: The True Story Of An Indian American Who Got Into Medical School Posing As An African American.” He claims the book will have the “comic tone” of Soul Man with the “deep, poignant and often wrenching observations of John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me.”
Below, why he committed this fraud, in his words:
I got into medical school because I said I was black. The funny thing is I’m not.
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.
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?
So, 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 and started using my embarrassing middle name that I had hidden from all of my friends since I was a 9 years old.
Vijay the Indian-American frat boy become Jojo the African American Affirmative Action applicant to medical school.
Not everything worked out as planned. Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me or couldn’t keep their hands off me. What started as a devious ploy to gain admission to medical school turned into twisted social experiment.
I became a serious contender at some of the greatest medical schools in America, including Harvard, Wash U, UPenn, Case Western, and Columbia. 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?
My plan actually worked. Lucky for you, I never became a doctor.
Here is part of one of his applications. You can view the full document here. You can also view numerous letters from other universities inviting him to participate in the interview process on his Facebook page.
After misleading numerous universities with his plot, he did get accepted to Saint Louis University. Yikes.
Bottom line? Would you ever trust this guy with anything ever again? No chance. For her part, Mindy Kaling has not commented publicly, and Chokalingam’s Twitter bio says, “@mindykaling’s brother/nemesis.” Now, I can only assume “nemesis” should be first.