Retain name of Indian Studies Department, university urged

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 29 ( The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has urged Universiti Malaya to retain the name of its Indian Studies Department and not change it to Indian and South Asian Studies Department.

MIC president S. Samy Vellu Friday asked UM Vice Chancellor Ghauth Jasmon to reconsider his decision to rename the department.

“He has to listen to the views of the Indian community. Tamil is our life,” Samy Vellu said when asked to comment on Jasmon’s statement on the proposal to rename the Indian Studies Department.

Jasmon had said that although the name would change, the department’s programmes would remain.

“We will not accept any changes to the Indian Studies Department because the Indians contributed to its existence and it is our pride,” Samy Vellu was quoted as saying by New Straits Times Saturday.

He said the department was created from money collected from Indian estate workers in the early 1950s.

“The department has many historical values for the Indian community. Changing its name would mean showing disrespect to the Indian community,” he added.

MIC is the largest party speaking for Malaysia’s two million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamils who settled in Malaysia during the British era.