SHEKHAR, studying to become a journalist in Bombay, comes on a visit to his village. His father NARAYAN MISRA expresses his unhappiness about SHEKHAR studying in Bombay, and not returning to the village. During his stay there, he meets and falls in love with SHAILA Bhanu, the daughter of Basheer, a brick maker by profession.
When SHEKHAR expresses his desire to marry BHANU, BASHEER is angry and refuses, NARAYAN MISRA too is upset. SHEKHAR leaves to Bombay after quarrel with NARAYAN MISRA. Amidst heated arguments between the families BAHANU runs away to Bombay, get married to SHEKHAR, and settle down to happy and harmonious life.
Back in the village, NARAYAN MISRA and BASHEER unable to reconcile to the marriage of their son and daughter, provoke each other, leading to many altercations. Meanwhile, SHEKHAR becomes a newspaper reporter. BHANU becomes pregnant and gives birth to twin-sons.
Their happiness lasts until 6the December 1992, when their lives are violently disrupted due to a variety of circumstantial events. Babri Masjid is torn down by religious fanatics and this triggers off riots in Bombay. The sudden eruption of riots catches everyone by surprise and the twins KAMAL and KABIR are about to be burnt alive. They are rescued in the nice of the moment, as the police start firing.
NARAYAN MISRA, BASHEER and wife arrive in Bombay when the riots have abated, and the two families have a reconciliation of sorts. In January 1993, two dock workers are murdered, and this triggers off a second round of riots. SHEKHAR interview Hindu and Muslim leaders, who express their points of view. NARAYAN MISRA is rescued from a rioting gang from BASHEER, and this makes them better friends.
Several related incidents fuel more violence in the city. SHEKHAR's flat is set on fire. While he manages to escape with BHANU and the twins, BASHEER, his wife, and NARYAN MISRA are caught within. KAMAL and KABIR are lost in the crowd, and get separated in a stampede. KAMAL is rescued by eunuch. SHEKHAR and BHANU begin searching, while the kidssomewhot survive amidst the riots.
SHEKHAR's friends are forced to take sides in the riots, and join the rioting. SHEKHAR tries to stop his friends from rioting and points out the inhumanity and insensibility of it all.
Finally it is ordinary citizens of Bombay who stand up bravely against the evil elements and stop the riots. SHEKHAR and BHANU are reunited with their sons on the streets where people are joining hands to form a human chain of harmony.