Responding to Gopal Guru and Sundar Sarukkai’s book The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory, Satyanarayana’s essay examines the significance of bringing Dalit experience into the public debate with reference to the practice of social sciences in particular and social theory in general. The Cracked Mirror, Satyanarayana argues, offers a critique of the commonsense view of experience and the limitations of social theory in India. It acknowledges the constitutive role of experience in the production of theory, redefines the task of theory, and calls on Dalits and other marginalized groups to play the role of a new generation of scholars committed not only to scholarship but also to social causes.

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