Heard of Masihi Mela ? : Changing relationship in Christian brotherhood.

Have you heard of a mela* which can be termed a Christian Mela? You can expect one to be like that. But it is different from others. Masihi Mela is the platform where Christians irrespective of their denominations and background come together informally to celebrate Christian brotherhood, have fellowship with one another with meal and in prayer and enjoy the presence of God in unity.

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity," says Psalm 133:1.[NIV]. Indeed, such is the atmosphere you can expect. It is the perfect will of God too.

Do the Christian living in Delhi know that Masihi Mela is held in Delhi every year one day after Christmas and Easter at Delhi United Christian School ground, 19-Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi ?110 054. The last 22nd MASIHI MELA was held on 26th December 2003, after Christmas.

The mela draws Christians from various denominations into one platform to have fellowship with one another showing their unity apart from different types of delicious food served at all melas.

It all began, one day in the month of January 1992, when Rev. Karam Masih (now Bishop), Rev. Collin Theodore (now Bishop) and Mr. Arnold James met at Brother-Hood House, 7, Court Lane, Delhi ?4 to do something where Christians from all denominations and Churches can be assembled at one place to meet each other. It was felt to arrange a get together at a common place convenient to all.

Finally, they decided to arrange a Mela, as per previous years, it used to be held first at Roshana Bagh then shifted to Qudsia Bagh (now where ISBT & flyover exist), then shifted to Delhi Gate ground (near Indian Express building).

In fact, a Mela had been doing around in the city even before 1992, but those melas were not yet named properly. It was not an active one.

So, they decided to revive the mela again and call it Masihi Mela. A wider Committee was formed of the members like Rev. Walter David, Rev. Victor David, Sh.(late) Peter Hiralal, Sh. Christopher Gautam, Sh. Percy David and Sh.(late) Sharad Kumar. Thus, with the above members a Masihi Mela Committee was formed which soon met and decided to arrange Masihi Mela on Easter in April 1992. Mr. Arnold James was appointed Convener for the Easter Masihi Mela, who is still its convener.

With great difficulties, as there were no funds available, they managed to arrange the first Masihi mela on Easter Monday in the year 1992 at Ducsground. There were only few stalls like Jhooda, Seekh kababs, nimbu pani, tea and few Calendar stalls. The income was so less that they could not pay to tent-age people the full amount. However, the committee was very much thankful to Sh. Raj (owner of Raj Tent House, Rajpur Road) who accepted the amount whatever they gave him willingly. The crowd was also very thin. They did not loose courage and announced the next Masihi Mela will be held after Christmas, on 26th December 1992 at the same place, Delhi United Christian Ground, 19, Raj Niwas Marg. Delhi ?54.

The Christmas Mela was very successful where hundreds of Christians from all part of Delhi attended and enjoyed. The Masihi Mela Committee also felt happy and encouraged. So, since then the Masihi Mela has become a permanent event in Delhi. The Masihi Mela now in Delhi is eleven years old.

There has never been in the past eleven years so much income from the Mela that they could pay the expenses. The Masihi mela income always short and the organizers had to pay the deficit from our own pockets. Since most of the committee members are either dead of left Delhi or have become unavailable. Mr. Arnold James, Bishop Karam Masih and Rev. Walter David decided to arrange the Mela under the Banner of North West India Christian Council (NWICC) of which all of them are its office bearers. For the last two years, the Mela was organized by NWICC, which has been bearing the deficits.

In the past, those Christian leaders who attended and had been Chief Guests are Bishop Nimrodh Christian, Bishop Vincent Concessao, Bishop Anil Couto, Mar Thoma Bishop, Mr. J. F Qunereshi, Apostle Church senior Pastor Priest (equal to the Bishop), Fr. Monodeep Daniel and President New Delhi YMCA, etc, besides the Mela Committee members like Bishop Collin Theodore, Bishop Karam Masih, Rev. Walter David and Rev. Nirmal David.

This year they intend to invite Bishop Collin Theodore, Bishop of Rajasthan, the founder member on Monday, April 12, Easter Masihi Mela 2004 as Chief Guest.

Through this article, the committee extend an invitation to all the Christian brothers and sisters to visit the 23rd Masihi Mela on 12th April 2004 and also convey the information to your friends, relatives and to your Church members.

“It is my personal experience that if you will attend the Masihi Mela once, you will attend if always? Mr. Arnold James said.

For more details contact :

Arnold James
Hon. Treasurer.
North West Indian Christian Council
Vincent Cottage, 11, Nimri Colony.
Delhi ?110 052.

Phone ?(011)- 2721-8256 & mobile phone ?9811-218-303.

* A Hindi word ‘mela?is equivalent to English words like ‘fete? ‘celebration? feast, festival, etc.

- Peter Chatlai with inputs from NWCC.