Major South Asian Events of 1997
- An alliance of Sikh and Hindu nationalist parties wins a resounding victory over the Congress in state assembly elections in Punjab.
- Congress withdraws support from the United Front, accusing Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda of poor leadership. Inder Kumar Gujral is sworn in as the new prime minister.
Inder Kumar Gujral
- Laloo Prasad Yadav resigns as chief minister of Bihar after a warrant for his arrest, on charges relating to an animal fodder scandal, had been issued. He names his wife, Rabri Devi, as his successor and the first woman chief minister of Bihar.
Laloo Prasad Yadav
- 49 senior Hindu politicians and religious figures are charged with conspiracy and incitement to riot for their alleged role in the sacking of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1992.
- Queen Elizabeth II pays a state visit to India.
Queen Elizabeth II
- In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers overrun a military base and kill more than 200.
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta dies of heart failure in Kolkata, India. India's Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
- K.R. Narayanan is sworn in as India's 10th president and the first member of the Dalit caste to hold this office.
- Arundhati Roy win the Booker Prize for her "The God of Small Things"
- Nafisa Joseph is awarded the title "Miss India", in the Femina Miss India Pageant.
- Kalpana Chawla becomes the the second person of Indian origin to travel into space. She flies aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia
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