Circa British Rule in India is the tale of two Delhi families, that of Nawab Badruddin (Ashok Kumar) and Gulshan Rai. The two families are so close that they virtually share the same house. The Nawab's daughter, Husn Bano (Mala Sinha), has an affair with a young man named Hamid, & gets pregnant. When the Nawab attempts to arrange her marriage with Hamid, he finds that Hamid has disappeared. Amrit Rai (Manmohan Krishna) and his wife Savitri (Nirupa Roy) assist Husn with the birth of a baby boy, Dilip, and even adopt him and give him their family name. Young Dilip is a cute young child, the apple of the Badruddin and the Rai households. Husn then gets married to another young man, Javed (Rehman), and moves to another location. In the meantime, while participating in a protest to force the British to leave India, the Nawab gets killed. Years later, Husn Bano and Javed return to a warm welcome by the Rai family. Then she meets Dilip - not the Dilip she had left behind - this Dilip (Shashi Kapoor) is fascist, a Muslim-hater, who has joined forces with other extremists, in order to force Muslims to leave India, and even go to the extent of burning buildings and killing them. How can Husn and Dilip adapt to each other with so much hate and distrust between them?