In Mumbai, the people who had migrated from Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu are living in the Dharavi slum. Union minister Haridev “Hari Dhadha” Abhayankar (Nana Patekar), previously a gangster who had carried out many attacks in Dharavi, tries to evict the people and seize their land. Over the years he becomes a minister and plans to clear the area to construct buildings using his construction company in the form of government scheme with the help of his supporter Vishnu Bhai (Sampath Raj). But, Karikaalan “Kaala” (Rajinikanth), the leader of Dharavi, opposes it to protect the area and his people. His ex-lover Zareena (Huma Qureshi) returns to her native Dharavi as the head of a non-governmental organization that hopes to improve the living standards in Dharavi unbeknownst of Hari Dhadha’s intentions. Hari Dhadha’s failed attempts to kill Kaala in order to take control of the area, leads to the death of Kaala’s wife Selvi (Easwari Rao) and older son Selvam (Dileepan) instead. Kaala decides to take revenge on him and protect his people. Hari Dhadha threatens the people in Dharavi by creating a lot of problems, but Kaala encourages the people to protest against the government in order to give up the scheme. Hari Dhadha creates a curfew in Dharavi by using the help of Superintendent of Police (SP) Pankaj Patil (Pankaj Tripathi), who is his supporter. Along with some policemen and Hari Dhadha’s right hand man Sunil (Ravi Kale), the inspector carries out sudden attacks. Kaala fights with Hari Dhadha’s henchmen and the police. Kaala’s younger son Lenin (Manikandan), his future daughter-in-law Charumathi “Puyal” (Anjali Patil) and his brother-in-law Vaaliyappan (Samuthirakani) also fight alongside him. Pankaj Patil gets arrested, after a video taken by a reporter (Ramesh Thilak) during the curfew provides evidence that the henchmen were brought into Dharavi to create problems with the police inspector’s support. The police believe that Kaala is dead after his chawl is set ablaze and inform the media. But, the people of Dharavi deny the news claiming that there is no death for Kaala. Hari Dhadha again enters Dharavi at a function for constructing a new building. Here Hari Dhadha begin to hallucinate the appearance of Kaala among the crowd behaves erratically. He is then killed by the people of Dharavi and the scheme is stopped by the government. With the success of Dharavi, many slums all around India start to follow Kaala’s way of protest to protect their neighbourhood.