Paan Singh Tomar is an Indian Army soldier who "outruns" (literally) other soldiers. He's one gifted runner and excels in the toughest form of athletics 'Steeple race' with ease. At one point he needs to return to his village to safeguard his cultivating land from one of his cousins. This marks the start of the movie and the rest of the story forms situations that made Paan Singh to transform from a Subedar to a local rebel (as he calls himself).
Though Paan Singh belonged to a family that had a history of dacoit, he wanted to be true to his country and walk through justice. It's the Indian judiciary and corrupted administration that made him walk through the rebellious path even though he did not want to. All the administration officials he comes through (even IAS officials) moves him inch by inch towards dacoit, at last, which he was forced to accept as his life style.
The unquestionable fact that the director puts towards the audience is the failure to recognize real sportsmen and talents in India. How bad our constitution is designed is revealed by the fact that Paan Singh becomes famous when he turns notorious! All his medals are not worth to his single gun shot. That's not the fate of just one Paan Tomar Singh but many other athletes who ache real recognition!