As a rule. films made on some religious myths, glories of the divinities, sublimities of sainthood and something related to theological aspects are kept aside as sub-standard, mainly by the English-speaking top-brass and elits, who are not hesitant in speaking volumes about some "Ten Commandments". These very people can be seen shedding tears while watching Amitabh Bachhan's monologue to some "Bhagawan" in a temple or Zeenat Aman as frequenter to a temple empting her emotions in front of the deity of Lord Krishna. If the pricipal criterian of a film stands on the influences it plays on social life, our habits, convictions and practices, "Jai Santoshi Maa " released in 1975 surpassed "Sholay" released in the same year.
"Jai Santoshi Maa" directed by Vijay Sharma ( none of the Sippys or the Chopras) was instrumental in transforming a little-known goddess into a popular icon. The Goddess attained a wide acceptence among modern working class women toiling in the cities and towns.
Satyavati is the foremost disciple of the godess Santoshi on earth. When Satyavati marries Birju, the wives of the three deities Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva become terribly jealous and create a series of problems and crises to test her faith and devotion. She emerges triumphantly from these tests and with her faith shining as ever, so she is admitted to the godly pantheon. Films dealing with the lives of saints deserve careful study as we pursue the interrelationships between religion and cinema in India.