DD New Logo: Why did Doordarshan Change Their Logo Colors?

DD New Logo
DD New Logo

Prasar Bharati, India’s government-owned broadcaster, has unveiled a significant visual makeover for its Hindi news channel, DD News, by changing its logo colour from red to orange. This change, announced through social media on April 16, is part of a broader strategy to refresh the channel’s branding, set design, and overall visual aesthetics. But the colour change has sparked a fiery debate and backlash from opposition parties and media critics.

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The Transition to Orange

Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO of Prasar Bharati, explained that the move to an orange logo aligns with previous updates made across other channels under the network’s umbrella. Last year, the English news channel DD India and the general entertainment channel DD National were both rebranded to feature orange elements in their logos. Dwivedi emphasizes that the decision to switch to orange was driven by its high visual recall value and not by any political motivations. “The colour is orange. Six to seven months ago, we revamped the DD India logo to the same colour ahead of the G20,” he stated.

Historical Echoes

Interestingly, the original Doordarshan logo, selected by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and introduced in 1976 alongside theme music composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan, was orange set against a green backdrop. This fact is often cited by the broadcaster to defend the recent color change as a nod to its historical roots rather than any political influence.

Criticism and Allegations of Saffronisation

Despite these explanations, the shift to orange has been met with significant scrutiny and accusations of “saffronisation” – a term used to suggest an alignment with the hues associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological spectrum. Critics argue that this colour change may subtly influence viewer perceptions by aligning state broadcast visuals with those associated with the BJP, blurring the lines between government and party imagery.

Jawhar Sircar, a former CEO of Prasar Bharati and currently a Rajya Sabha member from the Trinamool Congress, vehemently criticized the change. “This is saffronisation which is happening across institutions,” Sircar commented. He further elaborated that similar colour themes have appeared in other state contexts, such as the new Parliament building and even staff uniforms, reflecting a broader trend of merging state identity with party symbols.

Implications for Public Broadcasting

The controversy touches on deeper concerns regarding the independence of India’s public broadcaster. With the visual identity of news channels often serving as a subtle cue to editorial independence, the colour change has sparked a debate about the potential implications for perceived neutrality in public broadcasting.

As the debate continues, the visual identity of DD News will likely be scrutinized not just for its aesthetic appeal but also for its political connotations and impact on public trust in an increasingly polarized media landscape.

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