free speech debate

Podcast: Can freedom of speech and political correctness go hand-in-hand?

At a time when noisy debates make for prime time TV and people jostle between offending and being offended, we look at how India lost its capacity for dialogue.

There was a time when the word “troll” referred to an unpleasant mythological character – today, trolls are just as unpleasant, but hardly the stuff of folklore.

At a time when Twitter wars and unpleasant internet campaigns have become common place on the one hand, and socially aware youth are pressing for free speech and against government oppression on the other, how does one navigate the space between the right to freedom of expression and the responsibility to be conscientious and unoffensive?

The fortnightly Myth and Culture podcast by writer and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik and Jerry Johnson, a TFAS Fellow who has studied Philosophy of Political Economy, will bring mythology, tradition and philosophy together for a dialogue to negotiate the tricky terrain of contemporary conversations.

In this inaugural episode, Pattanaik and Johnson talk about why the tradition of samvaad, or conversation in India, has given away to vivaad, or argument.

Pattanaik and Johnson look at traditional and philosophical perspectives on dialogue and why freedom of expression and political correctness need not be mutually exclusive. They argue that the absence of self-regulation – a tool historically relied upon – in public discourse has led to a greater dependence on external rulebooks, which has stifled conversations and the open exchange of ideas.

This is the first episode of Myth and Culture, a fortnightly podcast from Audiomatic, supported by For more such podcasts visit

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Why should inclusion matter to companies?

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To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

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Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


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An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.