The move to replace Dr S Kumaran with a non-Indian had sparked an uproar.
In a statement today, Samy Vellu said Indians in the then Malaya and Singapore had struggled to set up the department.
"Today, the department is considered the Indian community's cultural heritage and part of our history in this country," he said.
"It reflects our prestige and as such, it does not make sense for a non-Indian to head the department."
In view of this, MIC wants a commitment from the university that an Indian will head its Indian Studies Department and the 'same mistake' will not be repeated in future.
Samy Vellu said he would raise the matter with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should there be no solution to the problem.
Work together to ensure survival
He also urged the Indians in the department, especially academicians and lecturers to work together and ensure the survival of the department.
He noted that part of the problem was due to lack of cooperation among them.
Samy Vellu was however pleased that Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Ghauth Jasmon had assured Human Resources Minister and MIC secretary-general S Subramaniam yesterday that the matter would be resolved amicably.
"However, we want an assurance that the Indian Studies Department will continue to be headed by an Indian," he reiterated.
Following the appointment of a non-Indian to the post, several leaders of non-governmental organisations called on the university to rescind the appointment.
Yesterday, Subramaniam said Ghauth informed him that Kumaran's replacement was an administrative issue but he promised to look into my request seriously.