Bharat is based on the South Korean melodrama 'Ode to My Father' (2014), which traces the history of South Korea parallel to a man's life, spanning from the 1950s to the 2010s. During the Partition of India in 1947, Bharat's father stays back in present-day Pakistan and makes his eight-year-old son promise to lead the household and keep the family together, no matter what. Bharat's life over a period of 60 years, from 18 to 70 years of age, traces India's post-independence history.
Bharat joins The Great Russian Circus in 1964 and earns a reputation for being a playboy. The discovery of oil in the Gulf region in the mid-1970s leads to a subsequent Indian migration to the territory; here, Bharat begins a romantic relationship with his chief engineer Kumud Raina. He volunteers for the Indian Navy and later holds the family business together during the period leading to economic liberalization in the 1990s, all the while keeping his promise to his father.