Based on a true story that sent shock waves through India in 1992, this drama concerns Sanwari (Nandita Das), a lower-caste woman with a husband, Sohan (Raghuvir Yadav), and two children, who is raising her family in a rural village. While it's generally Sanwari's nature to mind her own business and take care of her family, when she sees a neighbor woman being mistreated by an man from the city's upper caste, Sanwari is outraged and speaks out in public about the incident. Shobha (Deepti Naval), a social worker, is impressed by Sanwari's conviction and hires her as an assistant as the Indian government begins implementing a program to give greater rights and protection to Indian women. While she's timid at first, Sanwari soon comes to value her work as a feminist activist, but as she becomes more outspoken against sexism and abuse of caste position, she earns the enmity of many powerful men in the community. First Sanwari and her family are shunned by the local leaders, and then a group of men from the town's leadership take their revenge by subjecting Sanwari first to a savage beating and then to a gang rape. Sanwari, Shobha, and Sohan refuse to be intimidated or silenced, and when the local leadership refuses to bring Sanwari's attackers to justice, they bring the crime to the attention of the national media, leading people across the country to demand justice for Sanwari -- and for women all over India. Bawandar was directed and co-scripted by Jagmohan, an Indian filmmaker who has made a number of films in the United States under the name Jag Mundhra.