In August 1947, the British passed a bill regarding the partition of Bengal. Delving into the grim history of the Partition, Srijit‘s movie Rajkahini is weaved around a border between the two nations that runs through a brothel housing eleven women. Bengal was broken up twice (1905, and then during Independence) – officially for demographic reasons and ease of administration – but actually, it was a strictly political move to curtail Bengal politics. The narrative follows the erection of the Radcliffe Line as the boundary between the newly formed nations of India and East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh). As both the Congress and the Muslim League battle it out in courtrooms as to which side of Bengal will get which territory, in another part of Bengal is a brothel, situated right in the middle of Debiganj and Haldibari districts, which is the home and the world to eleven women and two men. Begum Jaan (Rituparna) is the boss, while the other women work under her as prostitutes. Begum’s faithful bodyguard is Saleem Mirza (Nigel Akkara), a Pathan, and Sujan (Rudranil Ghosh) as their man-servant and entertainer. Begum Jaan is not concerned about Hindustan or Pakistan, her only concern is her business, which is running badly because of the partition and resulting riots. The local master and Congress worker (Abir Chatterjee) visits the brothel time to time with gifts for everyone.
Meanwhile, the political sky is darkening. The Radcliffe line passes between Debiganj and Haldibari, the former being placed in East Pakistan, and the latter remaining in India. Mr. Profullo Sen (Saswata Chatterjee) from Congress and Mr. Ilias (Kaushik Sen) from Muslim League (who were childhood friends but now separated) meet and discuss about the relocation of the people of the two districts. They discover that in its course, the boundary line has been drawn right through the middle of Begum Jaan’s brothel. They meet Begum Jaan and tell her to evacuate her brothel along with her women, who refuses to budge. Meanwhile, the Nawab of Rangpur (Rajatava Dutta) was relocating with his family and followers to West Bengal, where he stayed at the brothel for a night. Begum Jaan complained to him about Mr. Sen and Mr. Ilias, to get them out of their respective parties. After visiting Delhi for the meeting of the rulers of the Princely States, he informed Begum that he is not an influential person anymore, and the Princely States were being integrated in the Indian Union, and the titles were being abolished. Begum decided to fight her own battle.