Monday, March 28, 2011

Wikileaks, Cablegate and the era of Loki

Is anyone else wondering just how much fun N. Ram and his untitled Cablegate - Indian edition project team at The Hindu are having right about now?

Sure, they promised us "unprecedented insights into India's foreign policy and domestic affairs" captured by U.S. diplomats viewing events through the prism of American self-interest.  But they had to know what they were really doing was ushering in the era of Loki, Norse god of mischief, admired and distrusted by the rest of the gods for his "impulsive intelligence".

Loki was a shape-shifting trickster offspring of giants who grew up to be counted as one of the twelve Aesir gods.  He was considered brave and helpful, deceptive and scheming, cunning and malicious, charming and good looking - a marvelously complex and famous character in Norse mythology.

It's very early days yet and five thousand cables still to go on Cablegate - Indian edition but if this past fortnight portends things to come, holy democracy Batman!  Post March 15, I feel like I'm watching endless rounds of political ping pong on paper, although I do recognize every day in politics pre-March 15 was also always a potential ping pong day.  Twitter, that thoroughly useless barometer of public opinion in this context, boasted #defeatcongress as one of the top trending sentiments in India today.  I don't see why #ican'ttrustthebjp won't start doing the rounds tomorrow.  The Hindu feeds both sides just enough to keep the show on the road and they're probably not unhappy about help from very predictable quarters.

After all, Loki is a legendary contradiction - sometimes his antics are helpful to the gods, sometimes he creates more problems than he can solve.  Either way, this should be a very engaging era for all of us mere long as we can keep Loki from crashing dinner parties on Friday the 13th.


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