Doordarshan’s Logo Colour Change Ignites Controversy and Political Debate

Doordarshan changes flagship logo colour to saffron

·       Announcement made through official DD News handle

·       Move criticised by Opposition and broadcaster’s ex-CEO

In a bold departure from its longstanding visual identity, India’s venerable national broadcaster, Doordarshan, has unveiled a revamped version of its historic flagship logo, swapping the traditional red hue for saffron. The announcement, disseminated through the official DD News handle, has triggered a flurry of reactions, with opinions sharply divided along political lines and ideological affiliations.

The unveiling of the redesigned logo was accompanied by a statement from DD News, asserting, “While our values remain steadfast, we are embracing a fresh avatar.” However, the move has not escaped scrutiny, with critics quick to voice their concerns over what they perceive as the politicization of a national symbol.

Foremost among the dissenting voices is Jawhar Sircar, former CEO of Prasar Bharati, who has expressed apprehension over what he views as the “saffronisation” of Doordarshan. Sircar’s sentiment reflects broader anxieties within certain quarters about the perceived encroachment of political ideology into public institutions.

Opposition figures, including Congress’s Manish Tewari, have been vocal in their criticism, characterizing the logo change as a brazen attempt by the government to assert control over public broadcasters and manipulate their narrative. Tewari, who served as the Information and Broadcasting Minister from 2012 to 2014, contends that the move undermines the neutrality and credibility of India’s public broadcaster.

In a predictable counterpoint, BJP representatives have defended the logo change, citing historical precedent and dismissing allegations of political bias. They point out that the original Doordarshan logo featured saffron when it was first introduced in 1959, arguing that the recent update merely restores the emblem to its roots.

Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO of Prasar Bharti, has sought to allay concerns surrounding the logo change, emphasizing that the new colour is technically orange, not saffron. Dwivedi maintains that the decision to refresh the logo was driven by design considerations aimed at modernizing the broadcaster’s visual identity for contemporary audiences.

Despite assurances from Prasar Bharti, the controversy surrounding the logo change shows no signs of abating, with critics questioning the timing and underlying motives behind the decision. Some skeptics remain unconvinced by assertions of design-led decision-making, viewing the move through a lens colored by political intrigue and ideological agendas.

Doordarshan, with its illustrious history spanning over six decades, holds a special place in the hearts of millions of Indians as a cherished institution of public broadcasting. From its humble beginnings as a telecasting service in 1959 to its transformation into the national broadcaster in 1982, Doordarshan has played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s media landscape and collective consciousness.

As debates rage on over the symbolism and significance of the logo change, one thing is abundantly clear: Doordarshan remains an enduring emblem of India’s rich cultural heritage and democratic ethos, embodying the complexities and contradictions of a nation in flux.

(With inputs from agencies)

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