The main thesis of this article refers to the widening gap between what actually happens in Indian villages and a whole array of books and reports based on doubtful sources of information. As, M. N. Srinivas, the well-known Indian anthropologist, writes: "The idea that economists should themselves undertake field work does not seem to occur to them". In other words, too many scholars and experts speak about the poor instead of speaking with the poor. This paper gives an account of socio-economic and technical changes in the Ganges Basin. The areas were first surveyed in 1963/64 and 1967, then again in 1978/79. The author takes one fast-moving area and two slow-moving ones. He particularly stresses the impact of growth on small farmers and landless labourers whose lot improves along with strong national economic growth.