The film is an adaptation of a play by Henrik Ibsen: An Enemy of the People.It is set in a small town in Bengal. Dr. Ashoke Gupta (Soumitra Chatterjee) is the head of a town hospital. Gupta's younger brother, Nisith (Dhritiman Chatterjee), is the head of the committees running the hospital and a temple. Both were built by a local Industrialist. The temple is also a big tourist attraction.
Dr. Gupta is convinced that the holy water of the temple is contaminated due to faulty pipe-laying. It is causing an epidemic in the town. He warns his brother Nisith.
Nisith, the Industrialist and other town officials reject the idea that holy water might be the cause of the epidemic. They refuse to close the temple to carry out the repairs.
Dr. Gupta wants to write an article in the newspaper to warn people, but giving-in to the pressure from the powerful people, the editor refuses to publish it.
Left with no alternative, Dr. Gupta organises a public meeting that is also sabotaged. And Dr. Gupta is proclaimed an enemy of the people.