Joint Commisioner of Police (JCP) Dev Pratap Singh (Amitabh Bachhan) is a man who lives by the Constitution. To him, religion, relations, values — everything is second to the law. His close friend, ACP Tejinder Khosla (Om Puri), on the other hand, has a more leftist philosophy. He believes that the only solution to India’s problems is exterminating the villains, whoever they might be.
The movie revolves around Hindu Muslim communal riots. Dev and Tej are both scarred by the tragic shooting attack on them by Muslim extremists, which takes away the life of Dev’s only son, Armaan. Dev and his wife Bharti (Rati Agnihotri) after much deliberation make the decision that they would not deal with this incident personally, with hatred against all Mulims. Instead, they would treat it with love and compassion. Tej, on the other hand, is resolved to take revenge, blood for blood way.
In the meanwhile, the movie shows young LLB graduate Farhaan (Fardeen Khan) and his girl-friend Aliya (Karina Kapoor). Farhaan’s father is a Gandhi ideologist, but Farhaan does not feel them justified. Latif is a Muslim extremist who is one of the leaders of the Muslim communities. He instigates the Muslims to lead a rally against the supposed atrocities by the police on Mulims. In this rally, thing get a little out of hand and JCP Dev order his troops to open fire, in which Farhaan’s abba passes away.
Furious, Farhaan wants to take revenge. Latif gives him training in arms, and at an appropriate time Farhaan attacks Dev and Bharti as they are returning from a dinner at Tej’s. Fortunately, Dev and Bharti survive. After this incident, Latif wants Farhaan out of the way so he plans a bomb explosion near a Hindu temple which will kill Farhaan as well. The bomb explodes all right, but Farhaan survives, realizing the truth about Latif.
Meanwhile riots break out, and Aliya’s family and friends are killed. She herself is assaulted by some vandals, but its not clear what happens to her. Dev and Bharti help Farhaan and Aliya out. During the riots, the Chief Minister’s (Amrish Puri) cheif aid Mangal Rao leads the Hindu faction, and Tej orders Dev to **not** take any action while people are being burnt alive. This series of events leads to tension between Dev and Tej, while Farhaan confesses and decides to become a witness against Latif and Mangal Rao.
In the finale, Dev is murdered by Tej, who later commits suicide himself. Farhaan becomes a lawyer to carry on the crusade.
On the whole, some may like the movie, and some may not. But every one is going to find the movie bold in some aspect. Then there are of course the very real kissing scenes between Farhaan and Aliya — that the characters are Muslim might upset some people.
Nevertheless, I liked the movie. It was honest for one thing. And I like movies which try to show the realities of politics and the police force in India. Somehow I’ve always been really afraid of the police, for no particular reason at all. These movies help me to think of the brighter side. I’ll talk about the police force in India and their perception in the public in some other post.