C. Vijiaraghavachariar, a keen upholder of social rights, was the first among the Indian leaders to suffer a jail term. This was in 1882. He went on to help A. O. Hume and Dadabhai Naoroji found the Congress in 1885 and he also aided in the preparation of its constitution. He undertook many social reforms schemes in the Madras Legislative Council from 1895 onwards.
He was a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1913 to 1916. In 1919, he pushed forward a resolution on fundamental rights and gained the Congress’ approval. He was the President at the important Congress session of 1920 that adopted non-cooperation. Vijiaraghavachariar was the first Indian to prepare a Swaraj Constitution for the country that was presented at the 1927 Congress session in Madras.