In a remarkable episode of the Indian playwright Girish Karnad’s The Dreams of Tipu Sultan, Colin Mackenzie is depicted as the spokesperson for a “European” mode of historical knowledge:
Mackenzie: Surely you’re being melodramatic now. Every bit of evidence we’ve gathered proves he asked for it.
Kirmani: Yes. For you, he’s made up of bits of evidence, bits of argument that prove that your side was right. And that’s what I don’t understand. You have your version of history, all worked out. Why do you want my side? Why do you care?
Mackenzie: I am interested in the other side. You could say that’s how we Europeans are brought up… to be interested in the other side as well. That I suppose is our strength.
Kirmani: I find a lifetime insufficient to understand my own. Besides I spent my life serving him and his father. And now I work for you, his enemies. What does that make me? A traitor? Am I trustworthy anymore? Doesn’t that worry you? It worries me.
Mackenzie: Our loyalty is to history, Kirmaniji. Keep emotion out. Stick to the facts.