News television channel DD News, the flagship channel of state-run broadcaster Doordarshan, on Tuesday launched a new saffron-coloured logo that replaces its red one.

The state-run news channel unveiled the new logo in a social media post and said that while its values remained the same, it is “now available in a new avatar”.

Several social media users criticised the change and said it amounted to the “saffronisation” of the state-run broadcaster. The colour saffron is often associated with Hindutva, an ideology espoused by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Former Prasar Bharti Chief Executive Officer Jawhar Sircar said that he has been watching Doordarshan’s saffronisation with alarm. “It’s not Prasar Bharati any more – it’s Prachar [propaganda] Bharti,” he remarked.

Doordarshan is one of the divisions of public broadcaster Prasar Bharti, the other being All India Radio.

In March, Doordarshan National had said that it would telecast live the aarti ceremony held at the Ram temple in Ayodhya at 6.30 am every day.

The Ram temple was inaugurated in a ceremony led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22.

The temple, which is still under construction, is being built on the site of the Babri mosque, which was demolished by Hindutva extremists on December 6, 1992, because they believed that it stood on the spot where the Hindu deity Ram was born.

Earlier this month, the state-run broadcaster telecast the film The Kerala Story.

The film, directed by Sudipto Sen, was released on May 5. It claims to depict how women from Kerala were converted to Islam and recruited by the Islamic State terrorist group.

A day before the film was broadcast, Kerala Chief Minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state-run broadcaster should withdraw its decision to air it, on grounds that the broadcast could “exacerbate communal tensions” ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Vijayan said that the film incited polarisation.