Vishwam (Naseeruddin Shah) is the youngest brother of the powerful and influential village Zamindar (Amrish Puri). The Zamindar will not hesitate to do anything for the welfare and protection of his family, which also includes bending the law to his own advantage. The shy and quiet Vishwam is married to Rukmani (Smita Patil) and, unlike his brothers Anjaiya (Anant Nag) and Prasad (Mohan Agashe), does not indulge in alcohol or women, nor does he have any bad habits. Then the village gets a new schoolmaster (Girish Karnad), who has a wife, Sushila (Shabana Azmi). When Vishwam sees her for the first time, he is unable to take his eyes off her, and unable to get her out of his mind.
Sushila does not reciprocate his attentions. Then one night, while the schoolmaster is enjoying a quiet dinner with his family, the bell rings and the two older brothers of Vishwam grab Sushila and take her forcibly when she goes to answer the door. Several people are present, but no one dares to raise a hand nor even a voice to stop this abduction. The distraught schoolteacher, who is denied justice by everyone from the local police officer to the district collector, is helped by the old priest (Satyadev Dubey) and finally they succeed in mobilizing the villagers and they slaughter their oppressors. In the end the frenzied villagers also kill the innocent Rukmani as well as Sushila whom her husband tried to rescue with the help of the rebellious villagers.
Anant Nag, Shabana Azmi, Sadhu Meher
Mohan J. Bijlani
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