Author: Saadut
•7:53 PM

'Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai' (1980) was an effort by Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kundan Shah (of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro fame). The main protagonist Albert is angry at everybody and everything. The movie is set in Bombay of late 70’s when labor fissures and unrest was growing due to the pathetic conditions of an utterly underpaid labor force. Unfortunately the movie plot was such a bland mess up that even a touch of comedy that Kundan Shah tried to infuse was lost to aimlessness.

In the movie Albert Pinto (played by Naseeruddin Shah) is under the illusion that his emulating the rich can make him one of them, often preaching the distinction between ‘striking evil workers’ and the ‘good workers’ who never go on strike. It takes quite some time (and incidents) for Pinto to realize that the real culprits are the oppressive capitalists and not the workers. It is only by the end of the movie that Albert understands the legitimacy of revolt of the oppressed.

The protagonist of our times bears an uncanny resemblance to Albert Pinto in his anger bursts, firing his anger with alarming frequency (some covert & some overt). Manifestations of his anger come in actions of barricading populations, packing young ones to harsh and life destroying gulags and curbing political dissent by state might. Some of his anger occasionally becomes 140 character declarations; in weak rebuttals or weaker mocking. 
Our modern day protagonist (as with Albert) also believes that emulating appearances makes you one of them, but he fails to understand that emulation of personalities does not stop at attire only. It takes actions, convictions and what you practice to make one. His preaching the distinction between justice and redressal seeking population labeled as ‘anti nationals’ and the ‘good population’ (a coterie whose only interest in his power lies in self progression) fails to convince. In the movie Albert wanted to be a part of the ‘capitalist empire’, in present times the protagonist is a part of the system that specializes in acting against the population and silencing the majority voice. Patience is a virtue for those who can control their anger, but for the protagonist (as with Albert) this virtue does not exist.
Our protagonist preaches adherence, civility, rules; but breaks every written or unwritten.  He promotes prospects of peace but when we point to his packing our future in obnoxious armed carriers, he withdraws to answerlesness. He blames people for violating the sanctity of social order, when we point out jackboot marches over population rights will have human reactions, he turns away his face. When he shows his vocal concern for Kashmir and we point out to our hearts (and bodies) that have been long bleeding for this motherland, he refuses to acknowledge these wounds. When he talks of political initiatives needed to end this impasse and we point to his silencing political opponents by draconian force, he takes a nocturnal flight out. And then his anger returns.

When he occasionally rages about how ‘imperial water thieves’ are ravaging our land, he becomes a nationalist; when we repeatedly point out to this thievery and plunder we are clubbed to ‘destructive mindset’ labels. His well rehashed outbursts are genuine; our cries of from dark are unwarranted noise, we are ‘the troll crowd’.

When we tell him that it’s us who know the real value of peace, having been maimed and used as target practice for long, he laughs at us having only been used to the manicured gardens of his high walled fortresses. When we point to the expanses of our crop sleeping under epitaph less mounds across the vale, he despises our claims of toil and blood, harvest of agony. 

When we talk of our pain and anguish (much of it inflicted by him); he dismisses it as fiction, aimed to be erased by his denial. When we tell him about the plunder of our political space and rights by alien nominations, he points to recorded democratic rehearsals. Only that we see the same characters repeated in these rehearsals, common people out of bounds.     

When I tell him, I am as much a part of this land as he is, he quips “demographics can change without you realizing”.

Our protagonist has taken it as a divine right to get angry at everything and anything, but unlike Albert Pinto a realization has not yet dawned upon him about the futility of his anger. Delusions result in rage and anger is blind. Anger can burn the world, not heal it. Will our protagonist realize that his right to be angry in perpetuity is over?

30th June, 2012

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