Media should build bridges between India, Australia: Rahman

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Sydney, Jan 14(ANI): Oscar winner musician A.R. Rahman has said that the Indian and the Australian media have a responsibility to build bridges between the two countries, rather than breaking them apart.

Rahman's comment comes after the Indian authorities urged local media to show restraint when reporting attacks on students in Australia.

The killing of Indian student Nitin Garg in Melbourne last weekend has thrust concern about the safety of the community in Australia back into the spotlight - straining ties between the two countries.

Rahman, who is visiting Australia for the 2010 Sydney Festival, further said that media in both countries have a propensity to incite anger between the two cultures, but also hold the key to helping to stop the problem.

"First of all we need more responsible media. Media is a great tool, but grossly misused and can provoke people. Just one comment can kill a thousand people - that has happened in the past. You have to be extremely careful and strict about what you write," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Rahman, as saying.

He added that he never considered canceling his trip in light of the recent disturbance over the student attacks.

Meanwhile, Acting New South Wales Premier Carmel Tebbutt said that she was hopeful of the concert promoting peaceful relations between the two countries.

"It's an opportunity ... to promote our city and to send a very clear message that we're a multicultural, diverse city, we're a multicultural diverse country, and we're very proud of that," Tebbutt said.

According to police, 1,447 Indians were victims of reported crime in the year ending July 2008 in Melbourne, but the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) believes the true figure is several times higher.

In the latest incident, a 29-year-old Indian man was admitted to Melbourne's Alfred hospital in a serious condition after four men allegedly attacked and set him on fire last night. (ANI)

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