Asok (/ˈɑːʃʊk/ AH-shuuk) is an Indian intern in the Dilbert comic strip. His first appearance was March 18, 1996. He is a brilliant graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology. The character is named after a friend and co-worker of strip creator Scott Adams at Pacific Bell. "Asok" is a common Indian name, though it is usually spelled "Ashok" and pronounced "Ah-shok". Scott Adams confesses in his book Dilbert 2.0: 20 years of Dilbert that he had a coworker whose name was also Asok, with the same spelling he later used, and that he (Scott Adams) had no idea it could be spelled differently. The name is an English variation of the name of the first major emperor of India, Emperor Ashoka. Asok himself is Indian, but that fact was not mentioned until September 2003, although in the animated series 1999 episode "Holiday", Asok mentions he has family living in India. Adams says in Seven Years of Highly Defective People that this is because "I only like characters who have huge, gaping character flaws. The world is far too sensitive to let me get away with a highly flawed minority member." Asok appears to be a fan of Indian music: in the animated episode "Art" he is shown listening enthusiastically to a female vocalist singing in Hindi. Asok has been described as "the stereotype of the cerebral Indian has passed into popular culture" and as the "first Indian comic character to win hearts globally".