The film tells the story of Ishwar Chakraborty (Abhi Bhattacharya), a Hindu refugee from East Pakistan after the 1947 partition of India. He goes to West Bengal with his little sister Sita (Indrani Chakrabarty) where he tries to start a new life. In a refugee camp, they see the abduction of a low-caste woman and Ishwar takes her little son Abhiram (Sriman Tarun) with him. He gets a job at a factory in the province, near the river Subarnarekha.
After completing his study when Abhiram is asked to go to Germany for his studies, he (Satindra Bhattacharya) and Sita (Madhabi Mukherjee) discover that they are in love. But at this moment, Ishwar's fear of prejudice emerges, as he does not want his sister, a Brahmin, to marry a lower caste boy. During Sita's wedding with another man, the girl and Abhiram elope and go to Calcutta. Ishwar is angry and heartbroken.
Sita and Abhiram live in the slums of Calcutta and try to make ends meet. They have a little son (Sriman Ashok Bhattacharya). One day, Abhiram gets a new job as a bus driver, but this leads to tragedy: when he accidentally hits and kills a little girl, he is lynched by the crowd. In her desperate situation, Sita is forced to think about taking up prostitution.
In the meantime, Ishwar is living a lonely and sad life in the province. When his old time friend Haraprasad (Bijon Bhattacharya) comes to visit him, they decide to go to Calcutta on a binge-drinking tour. They finally end up in a brothel, both completely drunk. When Ishwar staggers into one of the bedchambers, he is faced... with his own sister, whose first "client" he should become. Sita immediately recognizes him and rather cuts her own throat than submit to incest. She dies. When Ishwar realizes what has happened, he breaks down.
At the end of the film, the now completely broken Ishwar meets Sita's little son, who is now his closest relative. He brightens up and decides to take the little boy into his house.
Read more about this topic: Subarnarekha (film)
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