When Nawab Badruddin's dearest friend Gulshan Rai dies, it is but natural for him to take his son Amrit under his wing and for his daughter Husn Banu to consider Amrit her brother. Amrit grows up to become a doctor and is happily married to Savitri.
One day the Nawab Sahib comes to Amrit for help. Husn Banu is pregnant with the child of her teacher Hamid who is absconding. After discussing the matter with Savitri, Amrit comes up with a plan. Husn Banu is taken to Simla where the child is born and handed over to Savitri. Amrit and Savitri adopt the baby boy whom they name Dilip. A grateful Nawab bequeaths half his property to Dilip. Nobody in the two households gives a thought to the fact that Dilip is a Hindu boy of Muslim parentage, till the country is torn apart by communal hatred of the partition. Dilip, influenced by this, takes his religion to be his national identity, hating all Muslims, even Husn Banu who has now married Hamid and staying next door. As the fire of communalism rages everywhere and in Dilip's heart, he goes to Husn Banu and Hamid's house to kill them.
Will Dilip learn of his true parentage? Will his hatred for Muslims allow him to reconcile the religion of his birth and his upbringing? Dharmputra is another courageous film from the B.R. Chopra stable. The story is based on a novel by Acharya Vinoba Bhave, getting the film National Award for Best Hindi film and Akhtar-ul-Iman the Filmfare award for the Best Dialogues. The film was Shashi Kapoor's first movie as an adult actor and has a special appearance by Rajendra Kumar for just one song. Dharmputra was Yash Chopra's second directorial effort.