Mamata Banerjee shocked at ‘saffronisation’ of Doordarshan; BJP calls it ‘homecoming’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Mamata Banerjee shocked at ‘saffronisation’ of Doordarshan; BJP calls it ‘homecoming’

Apr 20, 2024 07:51 PM IST

The change in the branding, set design, logo and general visual aesthetics of DD News was announced in social media posts on April 16.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday expressed shock over what she described as the “saffronisation” of the Doordarshan logo after the government-owned broadcaster Prasar Bharati changed its colour to orange. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo called the move “absolutely unethical” and “grossly illegal” when the general elections are taking place across the country.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee reacts to Doordarshan's revamped logo.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee reacts to Doordarshan's revamped logo.

The saffron colour is often associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Sangh Parivar.

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“I am shocked at the sudden saffronisation and change of colour of our Doordarshan logo when the national elections are taking place across the country! It is absolutely unethical, grossly illegal, and speaks loudly of the pro-BJP bias of the national public broadcaster!” Mamata Banerjee said on X.

The chief minister questioned the Election Commission of India for allowing the “crude, pro-Saffron violation of the Model Code of Conduct” during elections.

She urged the poll body to immediately reverse the change and “go back to the original blue colour of the logo of Doordarshan!”

Dismissing Banerjee's charge, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya said the saffron logo was “tested way back in 1982” and it is “nothing but homecoming for the national broadcaster.”

“Thanks for not abusing. Your language off late has been crass and disgusting. The prospect of losing election is showing,” Malviya said on X.

“On Doordarshan’s saffron colour - it was tested way back in 1982. So, don’t be shocked and find out who changed it to blue.”

To be sure, the first Doordarshan logo, selected by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and broadcast for the first time on April 1, 1976, was an orange logo against a green background.

Former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, a member of Rajya Sabha from TMC, said he has been watching Doordarshan's "saffronisation with alarm".

"This is an optical construct where the identity of the party and the state are merged together. This is part of a totalitarian regime where you cannot differentiate the party from the state,” he said.

Gaurav Dwivedi, the CEO of Prasar Bharati, dismissed the criticism saying the logo of the network's English news channel, DD India, was changed to the same colour ahead of the G20.

“Thus, two news channels from the same group now follow the same visual aesthetic,” he said.

“The logo of DD National, which broadcasts general entertainment and news programmes in English and Hindi, was also updated last year to saffron/orange and blue last year,” he said.

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