Indian culture from time immemorial prescribes for a woman and honourable place in society either as a daughter or a daughter-in-law.
Shanta's (Mala Sinha) story is in fact the story of millions of Indian women with a difference.
She is the daughter and daughter-in-law in the same house and to the same man, who, a retired judge (Ashok Kumar), gives her this honourable as well as unique position after a struggle, long drawnout and continuous, against an orthodox, conservative society, which still does not believe in giving a young woman her rightful place in society and in allowing her to choose her own life and love.
Shekhar (Joy Mukherjee) an enlightened young man, a poet, falls in love with Shanta knowing fully well her helpless circumstances. In his affairs he gets sympathetic help from Shanta's friend and sister-in-law Savitri (Mumtaz) who is married to a bum, named Mahesh (Mehmood). Mahesh has to pursue his own wife with the passion of an ardent lover and in this pursuit he is supported by his orthodox father (Dhumal).
Shanta's bull-work of support and strength is her father-in-law, the retired judge, who, faces fearful odds, to make her his daughter.
How? You have to see BAHU BETI on the screen to believe the odd yet factual reality of life. And BAHU BETI is not only a gripping drama of human emotions but also a boisterous entertainment, embellished with the YEAR'S most memorable SONGS, MUSIC and COMEDY.
(From the official press booklet)