Prasar Bharati Changes DD News Logo to Saffron, Sparking Criticism of 'Saffronisation'

Prasar Bharati, India's national broadcaster, has changed DD News' logo from red to saffron, drawing criticism over 'saffronisation' and concerns about the broadcaster's independence and impartiality.

Rafia Tasleem
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Prasar Bharati Changes DD News Logo to Saffron, Sparking Criticism of 'Saffronisation'

Prasar Bharati Changes DD News Logo to Saffron, Sparking Criticism of 'Saffronisation'

Prasar Bharati, India's national public broadcaster, has changed the logo of its news channel DD News from red to saffron, drawing criticism from some who accuse the broadcaster of 'saffronisation' due to the color's association with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The change was announced by Prasar Bharati on social media with the message "Experience the all-new DD News!" along with the introduction of a new studio system and revamped website.

While Prasar Bharati stated that their values of "Accuracy over speed, Facts over claims, and Truth over sensationalism" remain the same despite the logo change, the timing of the rebranding, which coincides with the country being in election mode, has fueled further criticism. Former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar remarked that Doordarshan is no longer 'Prasar Bharati' but 'Prachar Bharati', implying that it has become a propaganda tool. "Sircar expressed alarm at the 'saffronisation' of the national broadcaster, calling it 'Prachar Bharati' instead of 'Prasar Bharati'," according to the summaries.

The channel has also faced criticism for recent decisions such as telecasting the controversial film 'The Kerala Story' and live-streaming the aarti ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, which some have seen as a move towards aligning with the ruling party's agenda. The logo change itself originated from a logo-designing contest in 2017 that received over 10,000 entries.

Why this matters: The controversy over the DD News logo change highlights ongoing concerns about the independence and impartiality of India's public broadcaster, especially in the context of the country's political landscape. The move is seen by critics as part of a larger trend of aligning the broadcaster with the ideology and agenda of the ruling BJP party.

Following the criticism, Doordarshan stated that while their logo is now available in a new avatar, their values remain the same, promising accuracy, facts, and truth over speed, claims, and sensationalism. The Doordarshan logo change controversy is not an isolated incident, as the broadcaster was previously involved in a controversy for broadcasting an interview between Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Key Takeaways

  • Prasar Bharati changes DD News logo from red to saffron, drawing criticism.
  • Critics accuse broadcaster of 'saffronisation' due to color's BJP association.
  • Timing of rebranding during elections fuels further criticism of propaganda.
  • DD News faces backlash for telecasting 'The Kerala Story' and Ayodhya aarti.
  • Controversy highlights concerns over independence and impartiality of public broadcaster.