From Behind the Prison Walls:

Learning from the Women of Nepal

Revolutionary Worker #1207, July 20, 2003, posted at

A reader of the RW from behind prison walls wrote the following letter to Li Onesto.

Dear Li Onesto,

Greetings! How are you doing today? Me, I'm doing pretty good. Actually I consider myself in the highest spirits. You may wonder how this may be with me being incarcerated and all but the truth of the matter is I felt the shivers from reading parts of your book, " Dispatches: Report from the People's War in Nepal ." I found your book extremely informing, especially the aspect of no sexual tension between men and women, or women and men, whichever is your preference.

I also found myself saddened about the seven Maoists who were killed in Banepa. When reading your book I found myself forming a bond as if I personally knew the members of this squad, through your candlelight interviews.

As my blood starts pumping thinking of such things, I know death is a reality and is oftentimes necessary in order for others to advance. All great revolutionary movements have had death and all have prospered in the fact that it has made the people push harder. But one needs to ask if it is really death if it is something you believe in. I hope that they seen it as an honor, which I believe they did.

I'm writing for two reasons, first off to let you know how much I truly enjoyed your book. The second is I was truly hoping that you may be able to assist me in obtaining the rest of the parts of your book and the interview with Prachanda [leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)]. I currently have only five of the 22 parts. I have parts 1, 8, 13, 14, and 17. And that is all. I don't have much money but I will do my best to round up some stamps for you if you can send this to me. I also want you to know that this literature will be spread out and shared with others.

I was able to obtain the parts I did from the PRLF which I have been corresponding with lately. In our recent conversation we have been talking about how prison, being in a sense a society in itself, has parallels with a communist society, but it was brought out in the aspect of pornographic material floating around. Although prison regulations do not allow no frontal nudity, women are commonly looked at as sex objects. What really struck me is how in part 14 of Dispatches, you stated how women there [in the guerrilla zones] are viewed as equal partners in the revolutionary struggle and not as sex objects. I find this highly encouraging as I think about it because if it's possible there then it is possible anywhere. Yeah there's pornographic materials in here but there is virtually no contact with women so that may be a big portion of it. Also the fact that `sex" is all around us--TVs, radios, magazines, everywhere. Let's face it, in the U.S. women are seen as sex objects. Do not get me wrong. I love women and they are beautiful. But I don't like that women are not treated equal and that men for the most part degrade women.

But anyways, I've taken enough of your time. If you could please send me the materials I asked for it would be highly appreciated. If you need stamps in exchange I will do what I can. Feel free to write if you want. I know I would truly enjoy your conversation. Take care.

In Struggle,XXX


The Revolutionary Worker receives many letters from prisoners all over the country requesting subscriptions to the RW and copies of the Draft Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party . Contribute to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund so that not one request will go unfulfilled. You can reach PRLF at: 773-227-4066. Send your contributions to: PRLF, Merchandise Mart, PO Box 3486, Chicago, IL 60654.


In the spring of 1999, RW correspondent Li Onesto spent several months traveling deep into the guerrilla zones in Nepal. The aim of this journey was to capture the passion, voices and faces of the peasants who have been waging a People's War since 1996. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) gave Li Onesto unprecedented access to party leaders, military leaders, leaders of women's organizations, families of people who had been killed by the police and common peasants. No one else has published this kind of "inside," human story of the revolution going on in Nepal. Li Onesto's 22- part series, "Dispatches: Report from the People's War in Nepal" and an extensive interview she did with Prachanda, the Chairman of the CPN (Maoist), are available at

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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