‘Were showing Zeenat’s body’… when Dev Anand called ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ a ‘dirty film’


Raj Kapoor saved his declining career with the 1973 superhit film ‘Bobby’. His son Rishi Kapoor was the hero in this film. The film brought Raj Kapoor out of the financial crisis that arose after the flop of his 1970 film ‘Mera Naam Joker’. 


After ‘Bobby’, Raj Kapoor started work on ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’. Starring Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman , ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ released in 1978 and proved to be a hit. 

But many controversies were also associated with this film. While the film grabbed everyone’s attention even before its completion, post-release a case was filed against the filmmaker for ‘moral collapse’.

Journalist Veer Sanghvi, in his autobiography ‘A Rude Life’, has written about how people got interested in the film after pictures of Zeenat Aman were leaked from the sets of the film. In these pictures, Zeenat was in very little clothes.

However, this matter escalated when Raj Kapoor sued the publishing house which had published these pictures. 

Sanghvi, who interviewed Raj Kapoor at the famous RK Studio in Mumbai, wrote in his book that Kapoor sahib had explained the film in ‘philosophical terms’.

He had said, “Take a stone. It’s just a stone. But you put some religious mark on it and it becomes God. It matters how you look at things. You hear a beautiful voice.” But later it turns out that it comes from an ugly girl…”

Sanghvi revealed that he was actually talking about singer Lata Mangeshkar, with whom he had an altercation due to similar comments made about the difference between his face and voice. 

When asked if the pictures of Zeenat Aman leaked from the sets have grabbed everyone’s attention, he said, “Let them come to see Zeenat’s body. They will go out remembering my film.”


‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ released at the same time as Dev Anand’s ‘Des Pardes’ released. This film also gave a new direction to the dying career of Dev Anand.

But Dev Anand was not very happy with the success of Raj Kapoor. About ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ he told Sanghvi, “It is a dirty film. Did you notice how the camera kept focusing on Zeenat’s body?”