In contrast to his lurid depiction of women's suffering under feudal patriarchy in Pagal (1940)
, Kardar achieves a more complex treatment of sexual oppression in rural North India via Sadiq's script. It was made the same year and by the same studio as Mehboob's Aurat
, also starring Akhtar. Pooja tells of two lonely sisters, Rama (Akhtar) and Lachhi (Sitara Devi), giving vent to their frustrations by persecuting each other. When Rama's wedding to Darpan (Raja) falls through and she marries another, Darpan rapes Lachhi in revenge, although the rape is presented ambiguously, suggesting she might be complicit in wanting to take something from her sister. Lachhi has a child, Bina (Jyoti), and ends up living with her sister, the now widowed Rama. Bina is led to believe that Rama is her mother. Only later does Bina realise her real mother was her aunt's servant. Kardar's film set the tone for Mehboob's later and better-known depictions of crumbling family relations and thwarted sexualities. It is more ambitious than Mehboob's work of the time, with a fairly sparing use of melodramatic effects. The theme evoked radical Urdu literature's critiques of feudal sexual mores, placed on the official literary agenda after the 1936 PWA conference whence writers like Ismat Chughtai drew their initial inspiration.