Vijay Chokal-Ingam is an Indian-American man who knew he would be a reject for medical school because of his mediocre grades and test scores. But in a recent blog post, Chokal-Ingam says things changed for him back in 1998 when he applied as a black man under an affirmative action application -- namely, his poor grades were overlooked and he was accepted to the St. Louis University School of Medicine.
I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man… 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.
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 as 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.
In another post to his website, Chokal-Ingam states that his submitted financial forms fully disclosed the details of his privileged upbringing -- his mother a doctor, his father an architect, his nice vehicle, his paid-for tuition -- all of which, he says, was ignored by the medical schools simply because of his perceived race.
Now describing himself as "living proof that affirmative action does not benefit the underprivileged," Chokal-Ingam has become a vocal critic of race-based programs. He is currently writing a book, Almost Black, detailing the events.
Chokal-Ingam's sister, Mindy Kaling, has also made a name for herself, albeit a much bigger name, over the last decade first for playing Kelly Kapoor on the U.S. version of The Office before starring in her own sitcom The Mindy Project on Fox.