Firaaq is an Urdu word that means both separation and quest. The film is a work of fiction, based on a thousand stories.
The story is set over a 24-hour period, one month after a campaign that took place in Gujarat, India, in 2002. It traces the emotional journey of ordinary people- some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who choose to watch silently. As an ensemble film, it fo9llows multiple narratives that are at some times interconnected and at times discreet, yet all are united by their spatial and emotional context.
A middle class housewife closes the door on a woman desperately seeking refuge, and then struggles to overcome her guilt. The loyalty of two best friends is challenged in times rife with fear and suspicion. A group of victimized young men seek revenge as a way out of their helplessness and anger. A modern day Hindu-Muslim couple struggle between the survival instinct to hide their true identities and the desire to assert them. A boy having lost most of his family in the riots wanders through the streets searching for his missing father. A saintly musician clings on to his idealism until an evidence of civil strife shakes his faith.
Through these characters we trace the ways in which violence impacts both inner and outer lives. Violence spares nobody. Yet in the midst of this madness, some find it in their hearts to sing hopeful songs for better times.