Of Purity and Autonomy: A Nation for Whom?

This third issue of The Sparkplug considers the challenges and contradictions that are entangled in Kashmir’s pursuit for self-determination. Included is a conversation with author and human rights lawyer Nandita Haksar, based around her research on how the nationalist movement in Jammu and Kashmir intersects with the socio-economic challenges that in turn face migrants to Northeast India. Accompanying the… Continue reading Of Purity and Autonomy: A Nation for Whom?

Pesticides and Poverty: The smoldering legacy of Bhopal

This edition of The Sparkplug commemorates the legacy of the tragic gas explosion that shook Bhopal on December 2, 1984, and critiques the role of neocolonial development by corrupt governments and corporate cronies. Featured in this issue is an interview with Montreal-based playwright and theatrical director Rahul Varma, who wrote the events into a play called Bhopal (premiered in… Continue reading Pesticides and Poverty: The smoldering legacy of Bhopal

Acceptable Censorship: The extradition farce and media silence on Julian Assange

When do we ever hear about “responsible journalism”? When is morality ever evoked as the guiding tenet of this work? The reference to “disobedient, moral journalism” at the top of the printed issue is borrowed from John Pilger’s article this past September, “The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange”. Pilger invokes “the exceptions, the dissidents …… Continue reading Acceptable Censorship: The extradition farce and media silence on Julian Assange

A glimpse at the current state of affairs in Eritrea

A conversation with Abraham T. Zere Published in Volume 1, Issue 2 of The SparkplugJuly 2020 LK: One of the most flouted achievements in Eritrea’s recent history was the rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia on July 9, 2018. Two years have since passed. How would you characterize the developments between 2019 and 2020? AZ: Dashed… Continue reading A glimpse at the current state of affairs in Eritrea

Eritrea: Forget “rights” and speak of duties and responsibilities

The concept of “rights” doesn’t meaningfully exist in the state vocabulary of today’s Eritrea. The idea has been replaced by “duty and responsibility.” By Abraham T. ZereOriginally published by PEN International for Human Rights Day 2019.Published in Volume 1, Issue 2 of The SparkplugJuly 2020 The state media apparatus constantly pounds into citizens the need… Continue reading Eritrea: Forget “rights” and speak of duties and responsibilities