Hari Prasad Sharma and his wife Parvati come from their village to Mumbai to visit their son, Dr. Murli, who is the head of a charitable hospital. They also decide to get Murli married so they meet Dr. Asthana for his daughter’s hand, but are in for a shock when he informs them that their son is actually an underworld don known as Munna Bhai and not a qualified doctor. Crestfallen, both of them return to their village. Munna Bhai swears to avenge his parents’ humiliation at the hands of Dr. Asthana, by enrolling in the same institution where Dr. Asthana is the dean and obtaining an M.B.B.S. degree. With the help of his right-hand man Circuit and others, he gains admission to the college. While Munna Bhai’s skills as a medical doctor are minimal, he transforms those around him with a ‘Magic Hug’ - a method of comfort taught to Munna by his mother - and the compassion he shows towards those in need. Despite the college’s emphasis on mechanical, impersonal, often bureaucratic relationships between doctors and patients, Munna constantly seeks to impose a more empathetic, almost holistic regimen. Enraged, Dr. Asthana tries several times to expel Munna, but is often thwarted by Munna’s wit or the affection with which the others at the school regard Munna.
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