Asok (pronounced "a-shook") is an Indian American intern in the Dilbert comic strip. 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-shoke". 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 May 2006 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."
In recent times, Wally had become a sort of bizarre mentor to the innocent Asok, and explains his highly cynical world view to the intern.
Asok often solves difficult problems in a few keystrokes, but he is still naïve to the cruelties and politics of the business world. As a result, he often ends up being the scapegoat for his coworkers' antics. Despite many years as an intern, and performing the functions of a senior engineer, Asok has been denied permission to be a regular employee and the usage of company resources for his work, apparently because the Pointy-haired boss has approval to hire new senior engineers, but not interns. As he stated "If I hire you, my empire, I mean department, won't grow."
It has been mentioned that Asok once lived in the handicapped stall of the bathroom; he later moved to a storage facility (but was only allowed an hour leave for moving by the Pointy-Haired Boss). Asok is also trained to sleep only on national holidays, a trait that he allegedly carried over from his alma mater. In addition, he was trained during his time at the Indian Institute of Technology in telekinesis, using it once to vaporize an obnoxious Texan and more recently to stealthily steal donuts in a meeting, and remove asbestos from the office. As well, he has mentioned that he has the ability to reheat his tea by holding a cup to his forehead and thinking about fire. 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.
The Dilbert TV series offered conflicting views of Asok's athletic abilities. In the episode entitled "The Company Picnic" Asok is shown to be unable to throw a baseball with either hand. In the episode entitled "The Security Guard", Wally calls Asok "a woman", citing the fact he has little upper body strength (it is also mentioned that he once needed assistance to lift a computer monitor). However, Asok is also shown demonstrating impressive athletic feats as well. In the episode entitled "The Shroud of Wally", Asok is able to hurl a briefcase several dozen yards high through the open window of a rocket and sprint away from it in only seconds to escape being engulfed in flames. Asok has also claimed to have killed a coyote with only his keys, although he later concedes that it "might have been a potato".
Scott Adams stated in a late October interview that one of the regular characters was to die soon. On 7 December 2007 the Pointy-Haired Boss announced that Asok died while on a test of a moon shuttle prototype. Asok had planned to reincarnate into his clone; unfortunately Carol had reused the jar containing his DNA as a candy jar. On Saturday, December 8th, Asok was reincarnated into a part human, part Snickers bar - the result of Asok's DNA being mixed in with candy. On Monday, December 10th, Asok's clone was informed by Dilbert that Asok had been killed, and that he had been reincarnated into a half man, half snack. Asok used his advanced shape shifting and guided reincarnation skills (learned at the Indian Institute of Technology) to change his form into that of a regular, peanut and chocolate-free, intern. It appears that Asok has been returned to normal as far as the Dilbert strip is concerned. In fact, the January 16, 2008 episode saw Asok tell the Boss that he was going to send his report to the Board of Directors, but the Boss said that he couldn't speak to the Board because he was an intern.