Shashi (Amir Khan) comes from an urban middle class family. He has a sister Rama (Rohini) and a younger brother Raju to fend for. Their mother has an acid tongue but is basically tender hearted. Living in the outworn system of social customs she evolves a strategy whereby the dowry that would be brought by Shashi's wife would be utilised to get Rama married. In her desperation she even solicits the help of Mama Banarasi (Kadar Khan) who is a professional match maker.
Shashi's elder sister had been ruthlessly sacrificed at the stake of dowry demands and since then, he has vowed to attack the very roots of this system by neither giving nor receiving dowry. This youthful idealism leads him to establish a small scale organisation campaigning the anti-dowry cause.
On being invited to the wedding of the Chairman of the organisation he is appalled to see his parents making irrational dowry demands which the girl's father is unable to afford. Consequently the bride Sugandha (Farha) drives away the baraat regardless of the consequences that this fiery act may take. In a dramatic turn of events, Shashi falls headlong in love with the courageous Sugandha and even offers to marry her without any dowry. However a thoroughly disillusioned Sugandha is stubbornly indifferent to his proposal and Shashi is somewhat dejected. Inspite of this, he determinedly sets about wooing her, until this sincerity wins her.
Hereafter Shashi and Sugandha get married in a temple, much to the shock of his mother, whose plans are rudely shattered. She now threatens Shashi that if he failed to find a match for Rama within 30 days she would give her away to any man whom she found suitable. Thus caught between the devil and deep sea, Shashi along with Mama goes groom hunting, only to find that the demands of dowry continue hound him wherever he goes. However, b some stroke of fate, Shashi discovers Rama's secret love for her classmate Ravi. Shash immediate meets Ravi's parents and the match is arranged even though Ravi's father (Utpal Dutt) who is an M.L.A. demands a fat sum of dowry. With the help of his friend Akbar and Mama Banarasi, Shashi devises a plan and Rama is married to Ravi without any dowry. But.... how his plans are foiled, how his youthful ideals are threatened, how her attempts are made on Rama's life by her in-laws and how these attempts are thwarted are the very gist of JAWANI ZINDABAD.
(From the official press booklet)