Singh was born in Lahore. He sponsored the bi-annual UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. He created the South Asia Foundation in 2000 as a regional youth movement and it has now grown to have chapters in eight countries. He was praised as a "freedom fighter and a secular humanist" by Taslima Nasreen, for whom he had helped secure Indian Residency. He is a Secular Humanist. The South Asia Foundation (SAF) has offered scholarships to South Asian students under various disciplines in its 12 UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institutions of Excellence. These institutions are located in all 8 countries of South Asia and are teaching fine arts, journalism, regional cooperation, green technology, etc. Nishchal N. Pandey, in his book "New Nepal: The Faultlines", called him 'a lifelong adherent and a supporter of India's secular and plural culture'.