- Urmila Matondkar attacked the systematic trolling vitiating social media
- She said money spent on development instead would have benefitted India
- The Congress may field Ms Matondkar from the Mumbai North constituency
Congress's newest leader, actor Urmila Matondkar, today attacked the systematic trolling that has vitiated the social media, saying had the money been spent on development, it would have benefitted the country. "Politics of hate has grown by leaps and bounds in the last five years and that has to be stopped," said the actor, who joined the Congress yesterday, and is expected to be fielded from the Mumbai North constituency.
Targetting the BJP and its narrative of development, Urmila Matondkar said, "If all the money going into that (trolling) was spent on 'vikas' then vikas (development) would have been around."
Trolling has been slammed repeatedly over the last years as celebrities, activists, journalists and the civil society have been targeted with threats and abuses. A number of women, including activists and journalists, have received rape and death threats.
Even Bollywood icons like Naseeruddin Shah and Aamir Khan have been trolled when they questioned the rampant cow vigilantism or expressed concerns about safety.
To trolls questioning her religion, Urmila Matondkar responded in her trademark style.
"If anyone thinks the trolling is going to stop me, I am going to have to tell them that I am from the land of Shivaji and there is no stopping us once we take a step forward," said the 45-year-old who is married to Mohsin Akhtar Mir, a businessman and model from Kashmir.
Trolling, she said, is manufactured by a certain ideology. "It is coming from somewhere. I refuse to believe that all these people...I get thousands of likes but the comments are negative. How is that possible?"
Explaining why some people from the film industry often bend to power and are seen as propaganda machinery in some cases, the actor added: "I am not going to attack people from the film industry for not taking a stand, as I feel they are extremely fragile set of people and it is very unfair to attack them and put them in fix or push them into a corner and say "why haven't you taken a stand?' I did not take a stand for so many years."
Ms Matondkar is expected to take on the BJP's Gopal Shetty from the Mumbai North constituency, which is being seen as a tough battle for the Congress.