Iqbal Singh was a Punjabi author, journalist and broadcaster. Fearing that their son would become radicalized by the political climate of the Punjab in the 1920s and 1930s, his parents sent him to England and France to complete his education. In London, however, he became involved with a group of politically active writers and intellectuals, including Mulk Raj Anand, Sasadhar Sinha and Krishnarao Shelvankar. With Sinha, Shelvankar and the Ceylonese writer Alagu Subramaniam, he founded the magazine Indian Writing which combined literature with politics and was based at the Bibliophile Bookshop. Indian Political Intelligence surveillance files place him at several meetings of the Progressive Writers’ Association, and he contributed a short story to the first (and probably only) edition of their magazine New Indian Literature. He also attended numerous India League meetings, where he associated with British political figures of the left such as Reginald Bridgeman and Ben Bradley, as well as his fellow Indian writers and activists.
Singh published his first book, Gautama Buddha, an analysis of the Buddha’s life, in 1927 when in his early twenties. It shows the influence on him of European writers such as Shakespeare and Baudelaire, as well as Indian writers. In addition to short fiction, he wrote essays on Indian literature, art, history and politics which he contributed to a number of magazines. He published a book on the poet-philosopher Mohammad Iqbal, and co-edited an anthology of short stories by Indian writers with Mulk Raj Anand, and a collection of socio-political essays on India on the cusp of independence with Raja Rao. It is uncertain exactly when he returned to India. Once there, he continued to work as a journalist and writer, as well as a broadcaster.