Ghulam means a slave. Sidharth (Aamir Khan) is an amateur boxer who does not work, preferring to loaf about with friends. His older brother Jai (Rajit Kapoor) works with a gangster who rules the neighborhood, terrorizing merchants and demanding protection money. As a child Sidharth idolized his father, an ex-freedom fighter, whom he saw committing suicide in guilt after a visit from an old acquaintance. Sidharth meets a girl, Alisha (Rani Mukerji), who rides with a motorcycle gang, and Hari, a social worker. The film tells the story of Sidharth's romance with Alisha and his reformation.
Working for notorious underworld Don, Ronak Singh alias Ronnie, has steeled two brothers, Siddharth and Jai Marathe to the hard life of Bombay, who are also trying to live with the reputation of being the sons of a father, a known coward during the British Raj in India. While Jai keeps accounts for Ronak, younger Siddharth is a delivery person, who excels in boxing. Due to Siddharth's aggressiveness he becomes known to the local police and the judiciary, and more often than not, it is his lawyer who gets him off. After meeting Alisha, Siddharth decides to go straight, which does not auger well with his brother. Then Alisha's brother is killed by Ronak, and the only witness to this heinous crime is Siddharth, who has now to decide whether to testify against Ronak, and thus incriminate his very own brother also.