Skip to main content

India's 'Spider-Man' pledges to use powers for good

By Mallika Kapur, CNN
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 0517 GMT (1317 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Independent candidate runs for seat in India's general election dressed as a superhero
  • Gaurav Sharma can scale a tall building in less than 20 minutes
  • Politician plans to tackle basic issues like education, water and power if elected

Mumbai, India (CNN) -- Forget going door-to-door, Gaurav Sharma, 31, campaigns from window-to-window. He's an independent candidate running for a seat in India's general election from South Mumbai.

Unlike the politicians he's up against, who wear traditional Indian clothes, Gaurav Sharma dresses like a man with extraordinary powers -- the Marvel superhero Spider-Man.

As he pops his head into a window after scaling a residential building, he asks startled residents to vote for him.

When asked if people take a candidate dressed up as a comic book character seriously, he sincerely says, that they do and they should. Because unlike the fictional superhero, Sharma has real guts, intense concentration and dedication. These are the qualities, he says, that enable him to scale a 45-story building in just 19 minutes.

"It takes a higher level of thinking and great organized thought," Sharma says, adding that a candidate needs these qualities to help the citizens of Mumbai.

After all, with great power comes great responsibility. Though Mumbai is India's financial capital and one of the wealthier cities in India, "people are still deprived of the basic necessities like water, electricity, schooling," he says. If he's elected, these are the basic issues he will tackle.

His election symbol is -- you got it -- a window. These symbols are a crucial part of India's election exercise. In a country where a large part of the population is illiterate, people cast their vote for a symbol rather than a candidate's name. It's a palm for the Congress party, a lotus for the Bharatiya Janata Party, a broom for the Aam Aadmi Party and a window for Sharma.

The friendly neighborhood Spider-Man says he hopes the public will grab the window of opportunity they have to bring about change in Mumbai. He hopes they'll take it and vote for him.

Will he win? That's still up in the air.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0249 GMT (1049 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT