Skip to main content

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

By Mallika Kapur, CNN
updated 1:17 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
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
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 1:47 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
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.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
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.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:54 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
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