For years powerful landlords have held sway over the poor illiterate farmers, keeping them impoverished, making them work as bonded laborers for paltry loans they had taken years ago, but which now have ballooned with the interest charged on the principal. One such story is of Mukhiya Hardayal, who is on the Panchayat, and is opposed to the cruel practices of Thakur Sher Bahadur Singh. When Hardayal's wife, Krishna, passes away while delivering their second son, Karamveer, he begins to hate, treat him contemptuously, generally ignore him and holds him responsible for his wife's death. Hardayal spends all his love for his elder son, Suraj, who does live up to his father's expectations and excel in his studies, so much so that the Thakur himself loans some money to Hardayal so that Suraj can further his studies in Bombay. After Suraj leaves, Hardayal finds himself enmeshed in the Thakur's loan, unable to re-pay it with the interest, he is severely whipped and made to work as a bonded laborer. Fifteen years later, the work and the beatings have taken their toll on Hardayal, and his spine is fractured beyond repair. Suraj returns home, finds the plight of his father, confronts Thakur, who in turn offers money so that Suraj can go abroad to further his studies. A grateful Hardayal accepts this offer - only to find out that this was another ploy of the wily Thakur to separate Suraj from his family, make Karamveer and Hardayal his laborers. Hardayal continues to work for the Thakur, hoping that one day Suraj will return and all his troubles will be over. What Hardayal does not know that Suraj may never return home, as he has been apprehended with smuggling drugs - and it looks like the Thakur will continue to have his way with Hardayal and the rest of the villagers.