Riddhi Patel: Protecting Our Youth From Radicalization

An HPN Editor Note

Hindu Parent’s Network is alarmed by a recent case involving a young woman of Hindu descent- Riddhi Patel. Riddhi was recently arrested and continues to be detained for her unhinged rant against elected officials. While she should face the full consequences for her actions as per law, what stands out in her case is the swift and stringent action by the criminal justice system in a state that is notoriously soft on crime as well as her abandonment by those who champion the cause of ending racial disparities in criminal justice.

This case serves as a reminder to Hindu parents of the challenges of raising law-abiding Hindu kids in an environment where tribal affiliations are indoctrinating our children. 

The gaps in critical thinking skills are pushing them into taking great risks for the sake of their tribal affiliations, to the point of causing serious harm, and jeopardizing their careers, and physical and mental wellbeing. This case also cautions young Hindu Americans who value their tribal affiliations over their self-interest. This means that regardless of their commitment to their tribe, ideology, political beliefs or the number of purity tests they clear, they are ultimately, dispensable useful idiots.

Riddhi Patel is a 28 year old resident of Bakersfield, CA, resident who worked as an economic development coordinator with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE) ,-an environmental justice organization that helps low-income communities. She is currently facing several felony charges, including 10 counts of threatening with the intent to terrorize a public official, and her employer has since fired her. The organization she was so passionately supporting also disowned her.

As a parenting organization we have noticed that it is increasingly difficult for the children to escape the grasp of tribal affiliation, and the related ideological indoctrination and radicalization. Many of them are eased into tribal affiliation as early as in High School, some in the guise of ‘volunteer hours’ for seemingly benign causes and organizations. Over a period of time, this metamorphosizes into rigid and highly divisive tribalism.

In Riddhi’s case, what is striking is not just her extreme views based on her allegiance to her tribe, or her incoherence but also abject lack of critical thinking. There was no reason for her to mention Chaitra Navratri, if anything it is a sacred time of the year for devout Hindus to introspect, and work towards maximizing their spiritual experience. Navaratri is antithetical to the ‘violent revolution against oppressors’ that she projected on the entire global south. Also, blatant was her inability to understand the limitation of a city council’s resolution in changing the outcomes of a foreign conflict. Her inexplicably unhinged actions appeared to be performatory in nature without a clear objective or intended outcome. Most importantly, she was not mindful of the consequences of her threats to public officials as per the laws of her home state, and the limitation of the first amendment.

In this context, it is impossible to miss her past social media interaction with her history teacher from High school, where she should have learnt about the bill of rights, which includes the first amendments and its limitations.

During that interaction, her teacher eggs her on to continue her incoherent profanity laden rant  instead of guiding her on to the path of critical thinking and coherent expression. He effectively rewarded her unhinged behavior, a pattern which has culminated in her current predicament.

While unhinged behavior in public spaces is increasingly becoming common, what was striking in Riddhi’s case is the swiftness and severity of action against her in a state notoriously soft on actual violent crimes. The trend continues to strengthen across the country and illegal migrants that assaulted on-duty cops in NY were released, as was a man accused of rape. Curiously, Riddhi is being held for verbal threats. The law should run its course and as law-abiding citizens we support full and impartial enforcement of the law, yet Riddhi’s predicament is not lost upon us.

Regardless of her passion, commitment to her tribe, or her self-identification as a person of color, or her willingness to take great risks on behalf of the cause she believed in, she ended up being a useful idiot, dispensable and of ‘limited value’.

Hindu children are also forced to bear the additional burden of rampant Hinduphobia in the Western media, on the fringes of both sides of the political spectrum, and most importantly on university campuses, with many refusing to acknowledge the existence of the same thereby reinforcing Hinduphobic biases.

Given the difficult milieu, our children must receive an education that fosters critical thinking and equips them with confidence and real-life skills that will help them blossom into responsible, rational, productive, compassionate, and law-abiding adults. As Hindu parents, it is incumbent upon us to impart not only knowledge and skills but also the wisdom to discern, self-awareness plus courage to question, and the resilience to stand by their convictions.

Moreover, educating our kids about our cultural diversity, Hindu history, our comfort with differences, and the universality of Dharma vis-a-vis the constraints imposed by tribalism and tyranny of ideologies will empower our children to see through the futility of tribalism and the fragility of ideologies. 

Also, a grounding spiritual core that is central to the practice of Hinduism is not only good for their mental health but also protects them from self-destructive tendencies and navigates the complexities of the modern world. This is also time for the Hindu American community to support Riddhi and other troubled young Hindus to get out of the clutches of divisive tribalism and help them embrace the compassionate, and uniting path of Dharma.

Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya. May Riddhi find her light.

Hindu Parent’s Network is alarmed by a recent case involving a young woman of Hindu descent- Riddhi Patel. Riddhi was recently arrested and continues to be detained for her unhinged rant against elected officials. While she should face the full consequences for her actions as per law, what stands out in her case is the swift and stringent action by the criminal justice system in a state that is notoriously soft on crime as well as her abandonment by those who champion the cause of ending racial disparities in criminal justice.  

This case serves as a reminder to Hindu parents of the challenges of raising law-abiding Hindu kids in an environment where tribal affiliations are indoctrinating our children. 

The gaps in critical thinking skills are pushing them into taking great risks for the sake of their tribal affiliations, to the point of causing serious harm, and jeopardizing their careers, and physical and mental wellbeing. This case also cautions young Hindu Americans who value their tribal affiliations over their self-interest, that regardless of their commitment to their tribe, ideology, political beliefs or the number of purity tests they clear, they are ultimately, dispensable useful idiots. 

Riddhi is a 28 year old Bakersfield, CA resident who worked as an economic development coordinator with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE) -an environmental justice organization that helps low-income communities. She is currently facing felony charges including 10 counts of threatening with the intent to terrorize a public official and her employer has since fired her. The organization she was so passionately supporting also disowned her.

 As a parenting organization we have noticed that it is increasingly becoming hard for the children to escape the lucre of tribal affiliation, the related ideological indoctrination, and radicalization. Many of them are eased into such affiliation as early as in High School, some in the guise of ‘volunteer hours’ for seemingly benign causes and organizations, which over some time metamorphosis into rigid and highly divisive tribalism.

In Riddhi’s case, what is striking is not just her extreme views based on allegiance to her tribe or her incoherence but also her abject lack of critical thinking. There was no reason for her to mention Chaitra Navratri, if anything it is a sacred time of the year for devout Hindus to introspect, and work towards maximizing their spiritual experience and is antithetical to the ‘violent revolution against oppressors’ that she projected on the entire global south. Also stark was her inability to understand the limitation of a City council resolution in changing the outcomes of a foreign conflict. Her inexplicably unhinged actions appeared to be performative without a clear objective or intended outcome. Most importantly, she was not mindful of the consequences of threatening public officials as per the laws of her home state and the limitation of the First Amendment. 

In this context, it is hard to miss her past social media interaction with her history teacher from High school, where she should have learnt about the bill of rights including first amendments and its limitations.

Sadly, in that interaction, her teacher instead of guiding her on to the path of critical thinking and coherent expression, eggs her on to continue her incoherent profanity-laden rant, effectively rewarding her unhinged behavior, a pattern which has culminated in her current predicament. 

 

While unhinged behavior in public spaces is increasingly becoming common, what was striking in Riddhi’s case is the swiftness and severity of action against her in a state notoriously soft on actual violent crimes. The trend continues to strengthen across the country and illegal migrants that assaulted on-duty cops in NY were released, as was a man accused of rape. Curiously, Riddhi is being held for verbal threats. The law should run its course and as law abiding citizens we support full and impartial enforcement of the law, yet Riddhi’s predicament is not lost upon us.

Regardless of her passion, commitment to her tribe, or her self-identification as a person of color, or her willingness to take great risks on behalf of the cause she believed in, she ended up being a useful idiot, dispensable and of ‘limited value’.

Hindu children are also forced to bear the additional burden of rampant Hinduphobia in the Western media, on the fringes of both sides of the political spectrum and most importantly on university campuses, with many refusing to acknowledge the existence of the same thereby reinforcing Hinduphobic biases. 

Given the difficult milieu, our children must receive an education that fosters critical thinking and equips them with confidence and real-life skills that will help them blossom into responsible, rational, productive, compassionate, and law-abiding adults. As Hindu parents, it is incumbent upon us to impart not only knowledge and skills but also the wisdom to discern, self-awareness plus courage to question, and the resilience to stand by their convictions. 

Moreover, educating our kids about our cultural diversity, our comfort with differences, and the universality of Dharma vis-a-vis the constraints imposed by tribalism and tyranny of ideologies will empower our children to see through the futility of tribalism and the fragility of ideologies. 

 Also, a grounding spiritual core that is central to the practice of Hinduism is not only good for their mental health but also protects them from self-destructive tendencies and navigates the complexities of the modern world. This is also time for the Hindu American community to support Riddhi and other troubled young Hindus to get out of the clutches of divisive tribalism and help them embrace the gentle, compassionate, and uniting path of Dharma.

 Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya. May Riddhi find her light.

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