Vishwam (Naseeruddin Shah) is the youngest son 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. Vishwam is married to Rukmani (Smita Patil), and unlike his brothers, 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, Sushilla (Shabana Azmi). When Vishwam sees for the first time, he is unable to take his eyes off of her, and unable to get her out of his mind. Sushilla does not reciprocate his attentions. Then one night, while the schoolmaster is returning home, he sees a vehicle pull up outside his house, and two men grab Sushilla and take her forcibly. Several people are present, but no one dares to raise a hand or even a voice to stop this abduction. What will the schoolmaster do to get his wife back, knowling fully well that the Police patel (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is one of the Zamindar's men?