Talk:History of India

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May 18, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for History of India:

  • Provide inline citations
  • Summarise
For example, bringing all subsections into one section.

Needs a complete rewrite[edit]

This article is a quite messy:

  • Many sections are simply copies of lead sections of the various articles on dynasties. There is little attempt to describe a connected history. E.g. There is a section on the Empire of Harsha, and ten paragraphs later, there is a section on the Chalukya kingdom. But there is no mention of the conflict between the two.
  • Because of above, there is no chronological order: you read about Dynasty X (year n to year n+500). Then, you read about Dynasty Y (year n-100 to year n+100). The article should not be organized by dynasties, but by periods.
  • There is undue weight on certain dynasties / events, resulting from the various editors adding content about the history of their own regions. At the same time, many significant events / dynasties are not mentioned at all.
  • In general, there is a lot of unnecessary detail, which should be limited to the articles on the respective dynasties. In many cases, a one-sentence description with a link to the articles on respective dynasties / events would be sufficient. This article is 240k, way above the recommended article size.

I'll attempt a gradual rewrite. Others are welcome to join. utcursch | talk 03:54, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Prehistoric era section[edit]

I'll start with this section. Proposed changes:

  • A more organized (and brief) description of Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic sites
  • A section on Indus valley civilization: early to late, decline and successor cultures
  • Remove the subsection "Dravidian Origins": it is unnecessary detail for this article, especially when it's a conjecture without unanimous support.

Suggestions and objections welcome. utcursch | talk 23:24, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Bump. Any objections to these suggestions? utcursch | talk 18:14, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
None whatsoever!--regentspark (comment) 22:47, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
i tried to remove Dravidian origins hypothesis yesterday, but it was reverted by user @Highpeaks35 citing vandalism. (talk) 13:47, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

european periodization applied on indian history[edit]

indian historic periodization in terms of european models is totally a irrelevant, circumstances in india were not the same as the european ones. i would also request adding bhimbhetka rock cave art as the base of evolution of indus arts as proposed by Erwin Neumayer Prehistoric Rock Paintings and Ancient Indus Motifs 2, i would also like to add recent discovery of ratnagiri petroglyps which has artistic depictions on par with gobekli tepe, i-e arts which appear in later civilization like Master of Animals (talk) 06:03, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

second urbanisation seem inaccurate generalizations[edit]

second urbanisation dates seem to be pretty misleading, several sources do indicate that by 600 BC, india was already urbanised for several centuries for instance

Dieter Schlingloff cites G.R. Sharma's monograph in which he states that kausambi city fortification was already completed btw 1025-955 BC and the moats were completed btw 855-815 BC 1, which means the city was already urbanized from period of 1000-800 BC. secondly, Buddha's death has been recently revealed to have occured in the sixth century BC 234, Dieter Schlingloff also compares parallel emergence of indian cities with the emergence of greek cities, which have been thought to have arisen in 900 BC

“This is an important moment in the archaeological study of ancient Buddhism,” says Lars Fogelin, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Although we can’t be sure that the ancient tree shrine had links to Buddhism, Fogelin says it is the most plausible explanation. “Depictions of tree shrines in friezes on other early Buddhist sites make the Buddhist affiliation of the tree shrine the most likely.”

hence buddha must have been born before 600 BC by which time the area that is east india where he belonged to had already been urbanised.

the punched mark coins are also thought to date from seventh century BC according to Jhon, E. Page 5

jain Parshvanatha is also thought to have lived around 800 BC by the historians.

Both Mahabharatha and ramayana epics have been thought to be be first composed around 900-800 BC.

the Northern Black Polished Ware also appear around 700 BC and the same is the time period when black polished ware appear in etruscan civilization 900 BC–100 BC

Both Buddhist and Jain calendars seem to begin in 6th century BC, which means that they were born in an urbanised era. (talk) 10:29, 3 January 2019 (UTC)

The Buddha tree site again... See Talk:Gautama Buddha/Archive 9#New Archaeological Evidence for Birthdate. Compare this to Christian churches in Europe, built on the remains of Roman temples, which in turn were built on the location of Celtic temples. See also WP:RS and WP:FORUM. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 11:05, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
you can keep your sentiments to yourself i have posted a reliable source, you have a habit of cherry picking mate, indulge in the rest of the sources which i have posted as well. (talk) 14:41, 3 January 2019 (UTC)

Size split and summary style[edit]

The article is huge (currently 338kb) and way past the length where a split should be considered. Since this article is already in Summary style, that means first, a careful proportional balancing to assure due weight of different sections and that they have the right level of detail, and then moving off at least 50% of the article (moving 75% would not be too much) into already existing, or new, child articles. This is a big job, and would require an outline or plan of work on a subpage here to organize it. I'll help, but don't want to play lead on this one. Any takers with good suggestions, and a good head for managing a task like this, who's willing to take this on? Ping, please. Mathglot (talk) 11:32, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Mathglot The 338kb figure is somewhat misleading; it's inflated by a large number of images. I'm not denying its too long, but the page is at 125kb of prose size, which for an article this size, I would say needs to be trimmed by 30-40%.@Fowler&fowler: If you could take a look at this, I'd really appreciate it. Based on a quick look, I think many sections could afford to lose a little material, but the World War sections, the Second Urbanisation, and first half of "Late Medieval Period" certainly need to be trimmed. Several sections are also strewn with unencyclopedic language, both in terms of puffery and pushing a particular POV; the "Growth of Muslim populations" and "Hindu renaissance" sections stand out. Vanamonde (talk) 16:17, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Vanamonde93, Thanks for the comment, you're right. I had to go look up what you meant by "prose size" and I assume you are talking about the definition for readable prose here. That indeed is different than file size (less than half the wikicode in this case). Thanks for that, and for your other comments about what could be cut and where. That's a relief, because it will be much easier to deal with the smaller amount of trim needed.
I'm concerned about the other end of the pipeline, that is, editors continuing to increase the file size unduly, without any attention to the child articles where the majority of the new content should go. This increase may in some cases be from editors with relatively little experience or who may not be familiar with Summary style and don't know that large edits should be targeted mostly at the child articles, with only brief summaries incorporated into the parent. For example, this recent series of edits by an editor registered ten days previously added 12.5kb (markup bytes) over a period of 24 hours. I don't know if there's a term for this, but on the analogy of "scope creep", maybe this is "newbie size creep". In any case, I'm not sure if there's a good way to deal with this. It isn't vandalism, that's clear; it's just that they're not familiar with Summary style. Maybe there should be a guideline recommending that new users not edit in parent articles that are at capacity? Maybe a hat note at the top of parent articles linking to WP:SS and suggesting that they consider addding additional detail to child articles first? Justification of this as a hat would be that it help[s] readers locate a different [i.e., child] article which would be more appropriate for their impending new content. Thoughts? Mathglot (talk) 20:32, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Per WP:RELATED, this would appear to be an improper use of a hatnote. I'm still trying to brainstorm how to deal with this issue. Mathglot (talk) 21:19, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
@Mathglot: Yes, I was speaking of readable prose size, apologies if that wasn't clear. There's a nice gadget somewhere which adds a link to measure prose size to the toolbar, I'll find it if you're interested. I agree that the total file size is also a concern; the number of images is somewhat over the top. However, the editor who added many of them has been involved with a number of arguments related to images (see Talk:India) and I for one don't have the stomach for a fight about images at this point. I agree with your point about scope creep, too; Highpeaks35 has also been responsible for copying over a lot of content from subsidiary articles. Given the already excessive length of this one, perhaps they would explain why they have done so. I will make some effort to trim some of this material soon. A little bit of the prose size issue could also be fixed by giving this a ruthless copy-edit; a lot of the bits that have been cobbled together from other articles have introduced redundancy and/or puffery that could be removed without affecting the actual content. Of course, some sections also need a rewrite, which is partly why I pinged F&F; it would be a much harder undertaking for someone not intimately acquainted with the source material. Vanamonde (talk) 22:08, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
@Vanamonde93: Yes, exactly, and it's a hard job. And I know F&F got really frustrated from what must seem like a never-ending stream of people coming in who, even with the best intentions, head straight for the lead in a FA and start mucking about without understanding the nature of a lead, or start expanding the body of the parent when all or almost all of it should really go into the child articles, to the point where they gave up and posted a retirement notice, and I just want to say how much I appreciate their efforts, and please don't go! I have a feeling they might be feeling a little lonely right now trying to stick their finger in the dike(s) all alone, and I just wanted to tell them you're not alone. Now clearly, I don't know as much about this article or its history to undertake a significant cutback, but I don't want them to feel like it's a one-person operation, either. So (and mabye this is straying enough from the section topic that it needs a new section, but...) if you would like, Fowler&fowler, to draw up a plan for cutbacks or content moves where you could perhaps manage a small team of volunteers that would more or less take instruction from a to-do list of tasks you draw up, perhaps on a subpage here, (or at WP:INDIA), I would be willing to help. (Btw, I guess that would make you the chief, and me the Indian Face-wink.svg.) You could use your knowledge of the article history, the SS relationships, and how it all fits together, draw up a plan and delegate the actual moves to whatever small team of volunteers we could round up, perhaps at WP:INB. I think that might better take advantage of your deep knowledge of the article, and multiply your efforts by N-fold. If this seems reasonable, we should probably open a new section about it. This article (and SS-children) could even be a test-bed for a general multiplier effect of this type, where we would enlist and profit from the different types of knowledge of different editors in order to share a large task in a more efficient way than everybody just coming in and hacking away at it without any kind of preorganization. I'll be "worker bee" number one for you, F&f, just tell me what you want me to do, or if you prefer, we can take it off to a conference room, and hash out together what needs doing. Or, of course, since this is all a volunteer gig, you can just ignore the whole thing, and go wind-surfing. Mathglot (talk) 23:01, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Xtools shows that the article has been stable till 2013, and has been steadily growing since then. It was 100K then. About 300–400K now. One possibility is to revert it to what it was at the end of 2013 (take a look) and let people negotiate about anything they want to add to it.

Splitting the article is not a good idea. But people can of course start new articles like "Classical Age in India" or "Medieval India" etc. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 00:22, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean. "Splitting" an article doesn't imply dividing in two; it can mean, creating "Classical Age in India" and "Medieval India", moving detailed content from "History of India" into those two new articles, and leaving brief summary sections at the original article. The first and second sentences at WP:SPLIT make this clear. Mathglot (talk) 00:57, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I dind't understand you correctly. So, if we are leaning towards splitting, periods (e.g., the ACMM periodisation given in the article), would be the best candidates. Once that is done, we can reset this article back to something close to the 2013 state. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 14:50, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @Vanamonde93:, @Mathglot: Thanks for pinging me, and thanks also for the implicit confidence you place in me. I'm strapped for time, so I can't actively edit this article, but I can suggest how to go about making it more encyclopedic, and I'm happy to provide feedback. I think splitting the article at this stage is probably premature. Trimming it, as Vanamonde suggests, would be the first line of attack. This will take time. Several volunteers will be needed, preferably ones that have not hitherto significantly edited the article. They, by each picking one subsection, will need to comb through the section and check for the following:

  • (a) the text is reliably sourced, that is:
  • (i) the sources are themselves reliable, preferably published by academic publishers, and preferably no more than 40 years old, and
  • (ii) they have been summarized accurately),
  • Example 1 An example of inaccurate summarizing would be the statement in the lead, "Archaeological evidence of anatomically modern humans in the Indian subcontinent is estimated to be as old as 73,000–55,000 years,[7] with some evidence of early hominids dating back to about 500,000 years ago.[8][9]" This cited to a source, 7, and page number, 6, which actually states: "Genetic studies indicate the arrival of modern humans into the region by 75 to 55 KA (thousand years ago)." Furthermore, "hominids" are not anatomically modern humans, they are a different subspecies of Homo, this is not made clear.
  • (b) there is due weight given to different topics in the section, that is:
  • (i) this distribution of weight finds some resonance in the internationally used textbooks published by academic publishers, or
  • (ii) in survey articles in academic journals.
  • Note 1 Mere mention of a topic in a monograph or a journal article is not enough to determine due weight, as these forms of publishing are devoted to special sub-topics, and will necessarily give more weight to the details of that sub-topic. Consequently, relatively high level articles, such as History of India, will necessarily have to be somewhat conservative in their content. They have to avoid WP:RECENTISM
  • Example 2: Citing a scholarly article claiming a 7500 BCE provenance for the Indian "neolithic" site of Bhirrana and published in the megajournal (one which publishes several hundred articles a month, with very brief turn around time between submission and acceptance) Scientific Reports. A mention of Bhirrana cannot be made in this Wikipedia article on the basis of that citation. If and when Bhirrana appears in internationally used academic textbooks on (early) Indian history, a mention can be made.
  • Note 2 I emphasize internationally used. This is because in history topics books published and used only within a country can suffer from (i) nationalistic bias, (ii) other forms of bias, religious, ethnic, etc. Internationally used textbooks tend to suffer less from these forms of bias. "Internationally used" does not mean published outside India, or written by western authors.
  • Example 3 An example of nationalistic (and also perhaps religious) bias in Indian history would be a statement such as: "Muslim conquest of India began in 1206, although parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan had been conquered earlier," or words to that effect found in the Delhi Sultanate section. In other words, when it suits this POV, only the "Indian subcontinent" is included in Indian history, and topics such as Mehrgarh, Indus Valley Civilization—indeed Vedic Hinduism, whose early development took place outside the boundaries of present-day India—are readily included; however, when it doesn't suit this POV, the Arab Muslim conquest of Sind in the eighth century, is considered to have taken place in a part of Pakistan, because that would make Islam have an older history in India.

For now, working on (a)(i) and (a)(ii), would be a good place to start. That itself will trim the article quite a bit. Only then, can (b)(i) and (ii) be considered. I will be happy to offer feedback, but cannot do the work itself. Best regards, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:49, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for the summary, Fowler&fowler. I'm happy to be one of the volunteers, though I too am fairly busy, and my work here will be intermittent. Also, Kautilya3, to answer one of your earlier concerns, the fact is much of the inflation here has occurred through content copied from subsidiary articles. So I think we can focus on trimming, and if absolutely necessary we can check through large diffs when we're done to see if there's anything we pruned that's not already covered in subsidiary articles. Best, Vanamonde (talk) 18:11, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
Highpeaks35, your tendency to make significant changes without engaging at all on the talk page is getting bothersome. Why do you refuse to give any indications of your intentions here, despite multiple pings? You have, for instance, removed the entire historiography section, a removal which is likely contentious, without mentioning it here. Moreover, some discussion here has already touched on the need for such a section. Could you please engage here before making any more large-scale changes? Vanamonde (talk) 07:20, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
Highpeaks35 Also, please make your edit summaries more transparent. "Trim," or "tweak" is not enough when you are making dozens of edits, some with significant deletions or additions. An editor looking to understand what has been deleted or added by you, should be able to determine so from your edit summaries alone, without having to examine each individual diff. Best regards, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 14:33, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

aryan mythology, not mentioned in european history articles[edit]

the myth of aryan migration has nine maps/images alone in this article, so called vedic period but i noticed that none of the european articles themselves do this, i tried to add indo european migration maps in the history of greece and italy but it was immediately removed. might i ask why this myth is tolerated/forcefully enforced only specifically in the indian history articles and why this mythology is not tolerated in european articles even in iranian articles? i tried to remove autronesian origin of bengali people mythology from one west bengal history article which was also unsourced and this mythology too was enforced by reverting my edits which included more archaeological aspect rather than aryan mythology. i tried to remove dravidian origins mythology from this article which seems controversial and yet it was reverted and forcefully enforced by european users. (talk) 19:38, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Well, you should try better than this. Dropping a line and a map wiyhout any context is not really helpfull. And Iranian peoples, lead, first lines:

The Iranian peoples,[1] or the Iranic peoples,[2][3] are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages.[4][5]

The Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid-2nd millennium BCE.[6][7]

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:04, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
aryan mythology should have no place in history of india articles or any history of india's region article, this crap is only enforced in indian articles by european users, even though they themselves stay clear from their own european history from these mythologies, these mythologies as i have already proposed should be restricted to aryan migration articles only and only those things which relate to archaeology and its study should be mentioned here, it pretty weird that europeans who impose all these mythologies stay clear from their own histories and only pollute their crap in indian history articles. its amusing how nine maps of aryan mythology and fantasy are posted in this article while tolerating abs zero in european ones. everybody knows that wikipedia doesnt tolerate any thing other than european agendas and their BS, but it should be so apparent, if you believe in aryan or indo european mythology, post this crap in your history articles as well and not just indian ones. There is only one aryan word which appears in iranian history, and yet thirty aryan words apear in this article alone. it seems like europeans want to impose their claim on indian history nothing else. (talk) 21:17, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Start your own blog, if you WP:DONTLIKEIT and prefer WP:CENSOR. Otherwise, see also WP:FORUM. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:26, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
See also Tony Joseph, "Examining the evidence for 'Aryan' migrations into India: The story of our ancestors and where we came from".. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 10:15, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
Also, from the same author "How ancient DNA may rewrite prehistory in India, BBC News". पाटलिपुत्र (talk) 10:37, 13 January 2019 (UTC)


I'm not going to revert the IP a third time, but for the record, the length problem has already been discussed here (see two sections above), the content is undue weight, and the IP is obviously editing in bad faith, because IP addresses cannot use Huggle, but an edit summary has been manufactured to suggest that that is the case. Vanamonde (talk) 18:45, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

"Chronology of Indian history" section[edit]

F&F, Mathglot, Kautilya (and others): since we're concerned about length, I think we need to take a hard look at this section. I personally am not a fan, as I think it's too detailed to provide an at-a-glance overview, but too short to actually explain what the various columns represent, and what the periods mean. At the moment, I am in favor of dumping it altogether, and moving the material about Mill and Thapar to the historiography section. I would like to hear your thoughts, however. Vanamonde (talk) 21:44, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

It is fine by me. But the table was JJ's baby. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 22:54, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, I didn't notice that in the history. Sorry, JJ; nothing personal, you know that. I'm happy to consider modifying it, too, I just don't think it's doing what it's intended to do at the moment. Vanamonde (talk) 00:21, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
Poor baby. I think it's usefull, but no bog deal. @Highpeaks35: you moved the table while there was no consensus yet; next time just wait a little bit longer, please. I've moved the table to Outline of South Asian history. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:24, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Stone age[edit]

Highpeaks35, I have selectively reverted one of your recent removals. Contested information isn't necessarily bad information; furthermore, the earliest human presence is a detail of great importance. Indeed, it's probably the single most piece of information that needs to be in that section. Earlier hominids are somewhat incidental. Also, the rest of that section is in terrible shape. Feel free to modify it later: I'm raising it here so we're not sucked into an edit war caused by miscommunication. Vanamonde (talk) 00:40, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

  • Okay, I thought this would be a quick fix, but this section is a mess, and has a lot of synthesis going on. I will dive into it some other time: logging off now. Vanamonde (talk) 00:59, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
@Vanamonde93: In my experience, one of the issues with the India-promoting-POV (and I don't mean the POV of editors from India) is that there is an obsession with antiquity, but usually only superficially, at the level of mentioning dates. There is much less interest in the activities and behavior of the ancient people so dated, i.e. in what they were eating, planting, hunting, ..., in questions such as: Were their dwellings permanent or seasonal? Did they leave behind pottery? and so forth. One strategy for reducing edit warring is to emphasize activities or behaviour more than the dates. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 14:18, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Vedic period and Sanskritization[edit]

Somehow it's not correct the name a whole period after one specific culture, which did not dominate India then. Is there a better name? And, in this respect, Sanskritization should be mentioned; India was not Brahmanical and Sanskritized all at once. It still isn't it overall... Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:37, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

I agree, we can put Sanskritization in the Iron Age section. However, having an entire section may not be a good idea. But a few sentence is fine with me. Thanks for being a team player Joshua Jonathan. (Highpeaks35 (talk) 08:05, 13 January 2019 (UTC))

IP Hopper 2405 please stop your edit warring[edit]

IP Hopper 2405:204:2289:fe07:* , please stop your edit warring at History of India. You have made three reverts in ten minutes as 2405:204:2289:FE07:43F5:CC47:15E:6518 and at least another four in the same cidr block for a total of seven so far, and the twenty-four hours isn't even up yet.

In addition, as mentioned above by Vanamonde93, please stop using misleading edit summaries. Cordially, Mathglot (talk) 23:22, 12 January 2019 (UTC)


@Highpeaks35: you removed a subsection, calling it "speculative." I've restored part of it, but removed the (indeed) speculative and undue part of inscriptions on bones. But Parpola is a credible, and relevant, author. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:48, 13 January 2019 (UTC) Ah, I see; F&f removed it too, calling it speculative:

copying indus civilization from lead of IVC; removing Dravidian Language speculation; does not belong to this page; it couldn't even get into the IVC page

Well, have a look at Indus Valley Civilisation#Language:

It has often been suggested that the bearers of the IVC corresponded to proto-Dravidians linguistically, the break-up of proto-Dravidian corresponding to the break-up of the Late Harappan culture.[144] Finnish Indologist Asko Parpola concludes that the uniformity of the Indus inscriptions precludes any possibility of widely different languages being used, and that an early form of Dravidian language must have been the language of the Indus people.[145] Today, the Dravidian language family is concentrated mostly in southern India and northern and eastern Sri Lanka, but pockets of it still remain throughout the rest of India and Pakistan (the Brahui language), which lends credence to the theory.

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:53, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
@Joshua Jonathan: I did not discount it. That is why, I stated: "put it back if something ("someone" [spelling]) thinks otherwise." I took this part off since f&f was edit warring with me, and wanted to calm him down. He copied and pasted from old IVC lead and removed Dravidian origin. I was fine with most of this section. (Highpeaks35 (talk) 08:01, 13 January 2019 (UTC))
I think it is still WP:UNDUE. Following the agreement we reached with F&f's guidance, only such material as found in a standard "History of India" textbook belongs in this article. Perhaps a one-sentence mention would be acceptable, no more than that. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 10:58, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
I think it is also wrong to speak of the "Dravidians" as a people. Dravidian was a language. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 10:59, 13 January 2019 (UTC)

IVC lead as input for section here[edit]

Hello @Vanamonde93:: Please take a look at the revised lead of the IVC page here. This was more or less the consensus version of a year ago. Please note that words such as "cradle" are not used. You could start with that lead, and if needed whittle it down, or change the language, to arrive at the lead for this page's IVC section. Best regards, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 18:02, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

@Fowler&fowler: I'm not wedded to the "cradle of civilization" term; I was simply trying to reduce redundancy in the prose. I haven't actually worked through the sourcing of that section. I will take a look at that material soon. Vanamonde (Talk) 18:07, 14 January 2019 (UTC)