The word separation’ literally means coming apart’ or parting of ways’ between concerned parties. The word has wider connotations in different contexts like social, economic, political, religious, legal and military.
Generally separation’ denotes severence of relationship between parties and it hurts, whether it occurs between a husband and wife or between a mother and a child or an employer and an employee.
In the social and legal context separation’ between a husband and wife occurs due to the irretrievable break down of marriage between them.But the courts always proceed with caution and if they feel that there is no irretrievable breakdown of marriage and still there is scope for reconciliation and a possibility of reunion between the husband and wife, the court will grant only judicial separation’, according to which the couples are only judicially separated for a period of one year and even after the completion of one year, if the husband and wife are living separately and bent upon getting separated’ permanently, the court will proceed to grant them divorce.This is the procedure followed by the Indian courts in the case of Hindus according to the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.Whereas in the western countries like US separation’ means divorce between the couples on the ground of adultery, mental agony and torture.
In the social context separation also means the separation between the mother and the child.It may be either temporary when the child goes to school or when the child is admitted into a hostel.The separation’ of a child from its mother even if it is for a brief period, is really agonising to both of them.The reunion of the separated mother and the child is really heartwarming, forcing even a third party to break down into tears.
In the economic front, in the case of larger companies or organisations, creation of watertight compartments called separate departments is necessary to assign them separate duties and responsibilities.The retirement of an employee from an organisation or by an employer is known as separation’ with all its attendant benefits.
In the ancient days, especially in the European countries when polilitical power was subservient to the religious power, religion dominated politics and it led to chaos and many wars.For example a king had to wait for many days to have an appointment and meeting with the Pope and the religious authority cared a fig for the political authority.Finally it was the separation’ of religion from politics, finally helped to resolve the problem.
Discharging a person from military service is also known as separation’, which means the discharged person is no longer useful or serve the cause of military.
In the political context the term separation’ of powers denotes the separation of three vital political organisations, like legislature, executive and judiciary.Though political philosophers like Hobbes did not favour the idea of separation of powers, it was Montesquieue who highlighted and advocated the idea of separation of powers’ in his famous book the spirit of the laws’.
The political philosophy of Montesquieue the separation of powers’ was first accepted by the US by constituting three separate political organisations like legislature, executive and judiciary in Congress, President and the Supreme Court respectively, with the powers of checks and balances between them to control each other. Many countries including India has adopted the political philosophy of separation of powers’
Thus the word separation’ has a wider meaning in different contexts.