Urmila Matondkar, leading Bollywood actress of the 90s who joined the Congress recently, says she has faced a lot of trolling on social media and personal attacks after her entry into politics, but asserted that she is here to stay.
Urmila, who is contesting from the Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency -- a BJP stronghold, said these elections will decide the direction in which the country will go and if democracy will be saved.
"I have never left anything incomplete... be it studies or career. The decision to join politics was well thought of and I will give more than 100 per cent to it. My intentions are clear," Urmila, who is pitted against the BJP's sitting MP Gopal Shetty, told.
"Women should understand they need to have nerves of steel to be in politics. I understand criticism, but have had to face negativity, dirt and filth. I have not played the victim card in all these days. I am here to stay," she said.
Referring to a recent incident in suburban Borivali, when a scuffle broke out between Congress and BJP workers during her rally, she said she believes in freedom of expression and has nothing against people chanting anybody's name.
"But the way the scene unfolded later was unacceptable and appalling. This is politics of hatred and negativity. Violence is not always physical but also at a mental level... After joining politics I have faced tremendous trolling (on social media) and personal attacks," she said.
The actress-turned-politician will make her electoral debut with the April 29 polling in Mumbai North.
Urmila said when she returned to Mumbai after formally joining the Congress in Delhi, she was surprised to find a hostile media.
"I was taken aback by the kind of questions asked. Having a huge career of 27 years and making a name for myself as a film star, I never faced such negativity," the 'Rangeela' actress said.
(with news agency inputs)