Friday, September 01, 2006

India's Judge Judy

September 1, 2006

My favorite show this week was Monday's "Durga's Court" with the indomitable forever-hoarse Shabnam Ramaswamy, a real firecracker if there ever was one, a self-appointed judge in her native village in India who holds court on her veranda twice a week. The amazing thing is that people actually follow her rulings with no penalties or enforcement policies to make them comply. They just trust her judgement and respect her authority. With some people you just feel as if you've known them all your life. She's one of them. No matter that she's half way across the world and I'll probably never see her. If you happen to have missed that show, I really recommend that you find a way to listen, either on the podcast or the web. She's my pick for this week's Queen of Here on Earth. We're hoping to do a follow-up when documentarian Dheera Sujan produces another Radio Netherlands program about Shabnam's school for street kids, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to generate some support for it.

Another heavy-weight contender for this week's Queen is the ever redoubtable and intrepid and amazingly courageous Sarah Chayes who is fighting guns with roses in Kandahar.

And so far, I haven't gotten stoned for promoting cigar smoking, but close. That one went up in smoke.

I love it when you guys call in. But why do you always make me work so hard at it? What's the difference between the programs that light up like Christmas trees and the ones that stay dark? Why, for example, were there no calls this week for Judge Judy, and only one call for A Force More Powerful? It always feels like a party where nobody shows up when you don't call. Topics too esoteric? Don't know enough to be able to contribute meaningfully to the conversation? You can alway ask questions, you know.

Anyway, have a great Labor Day weekend. Thanks for making my labor worthwhile.



daniel w krause said...


Re: the killing of the raped woman

About the honor program, your guest wants to be a nuetral observer of cultural happenings and practices. Murder is still murder by any other name. In the spectrum of human experience, we evolve individually and collectively. Change being the only constant, when will the women of such cultural practice say, "enough!" At what future point can a male critic within the culture itself say, "this practice of killing raped women is barbaric."?

Anonymous said...

why cant i listen to this episode????i cant even download it.I really loved this episode :(